SOURCE: Napa Valley Film Festival

November 20, 2013 16:27 ET

The 3rd Annual Napa Valley Film Festival Announces Award Winners

With Great Weather, Sold-Out Shows, Celebrity Tributes, Inspired Films, and Decadent Food and Wine, the 2013 Festival Was a True Success

NAPA, CA--(Marketwired - Nov 20, 2013) - Co-Founders and Directors Brenda and Marc Lhormer are proud to announce the completion of the third annual Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) which culminated on Sunday, November 17th at the Uptown Theatre in Napa with an energetic Awards Ceremony & Wrap Party. NVFF spanned a full week this year throughout the Napa Valley's picturesque towns of Napa, Yountville, Calistoga and St. Helena. After already impressive first and second installments, the Napa Valley Film Festival is quickly gaining attention on the national stage. Final attendance figures will be released later this week.

The festival ran Wednesday through Sunday but got off to an early and powerful start with special programming on Veterans Day, Monday, November 11th. The inspiring program of films honoring our Veterans and those who serve in the armed services screened at the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater. Over 1,000 attendees participated.

On Tuesday evening, the festival presented its first-ever Sneak Preview Night with back-to-back screenings of Alexander Payne's new film Nebraska in St. Helena. In Yountville, there was a screening of Red Obsession, with Australian director Warwick Ross in attendance for an extended Q&A.

The festival officially opened on Wednesday with the highly anticipated screening of August: Osage County, directed by John Wells and starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, followed by the Opening Night VIP Dinner Party, hosted by Benchmark Wine Group along the Napa Riverfront. Actress Abigail Breslin attended and entertained the audience with a lively Q&A on-stage with Festival Director Marc Lhormer.

By day, festival-goers navigated the screenings, special events, and culinary offerings happening in the Valley. Attendees filled 12 screening venues and took advantage of the many participating stores, restaurants and wine pavilions offering tastings of Napa Valley's finest food and wine. Passholders could be seen mixing with film industry moguls, emerging talents, vintners, and chefs at culinary and film industry panel discussions in the new LifeStyle Pavilion. The LifeStyle Pavilion was centrally located in downtown Napa's Oxbow District and was just steps away from many of the Napa screening venues. Interactive exhibits were on display each day, including Sony's new 4K technology and the new Cadillac hybrid ELR. Daily film industry panels and culinary demonstrations at the Dacor Stage were additional attractions. Passholders could enjoy an array of premier wines and refreshing chalices of Stella Artois, as well as ZICO coconut water and much more.

The four festival villages also hosted individual Wine Pavilions in each town for passholders from 2:30 - 5:00 p.m., Friday - Sunday. Oxbow Market's doors were rarely at rest from the steady stream of people visiting the festival's Napa Village Center located next to Kara's Cupcakes, with eager festival-goers flipping through and discussing the festival program and exploring the famous market's restaurants and shops.

One of the hottest tickets of the week was Thursday night's Festival Gala at the LifeStyle Pavilion and in the adjacent building at 500 First Street, a blowout party following the red carpet screening of Saving Mr. Banks featuring live music, gourmet cuisine and wines. Guests danced, mingled and wandered through dozen or so different themed lounges, visiting culinary stations offering stylish, flavorful bites from notable local chefs and the most buzzed about restaurants including: The Thomas, Victor Scargle and Bardessono's Lucy, Morimoto and roughly 20 others.

Of the 1,500 guests in attendance at the Festival Gala, notables included Madeline Zima, Alan Ritchson, Melanie Lynskey, Colin Farrell, Shea Whigham, Ralph Macchio, Michelle Forbes, John Lee Hancock, Sara Paxton, and many more. Another highlight of the Festival Gala was the arrival of the five filmmaking teams competing in the Sony 4K Challenge, who raced to complete a five-minute short film in 50 hours.

On Friday night, the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater hosted the Celebrity Tribute Program, honoring Actor Colin Farrell, Director John Lee Hancock, and Rising Stars Miles Teller and Dianna Agron. Celebrities Colin Farrell, Billy Bush, Dianna Agron, Miles Teller, Alan Ritchson, Ralph Macchio, Dave Grohl, and Shea Whigham walked the red carpet prior to the event. Access Hollywood's Billy Bush hosted the evening and presented the tributes, interviewing the stars on stage about their careers and previous roles with humor and aplomb. Colin Farrell was presented a double magnum from Beaulieu Vineyards by Diageo's Claudia Schubert. John Lee Hancock was presented a double magnum from B Cellars by co-founder Duffy Keys. Miles Teller of 21 And Over and The Spectacular Now and Dianna Agron, who played Quinn Fabray in Fox's hit television series "Glee," were presented with Rising Star Awards, with double magnums of Domaine Chandon sparkling wine presented by Estate Director Matt Wood. Prior to the Tribute Ceremony, Matt Wood hosted an intimate dinner with the festival's patrons and the honorees at Domaine Chandon's acclaimed etoile restaurant. Following the tribute ceremony, The Hollywood Reporter hosted a VIP after-party for guests at Vintage Estate's Groezinger Lounge.

On Saturday, November 16th, NVFF introduced a powerful addition to its programming with the New Power Lunch: Celebrating Women Making a Difference in Film. The luncheon honored the women behind the inspirational and influential films Anita and Sewing Hope, and raised funds for the NVFF's year-round Education & Outreach Programs. Anita Hill, Academy Award-Winning Director Freida Lee Mock, and Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe were in attendance at the inspiring event. The on-stage conversations were moderated by Sharon Waxman, founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Wrap. The four women were presented with double magnums from Hall Winery, Raymond Vineyards, Freemark Abbey and Peju Province.

Another huge hit at NVFF was the screening of Philomena on Saturday night, which stars Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan. Following the 5:30 p.m. screening was a series of 18 delectable Winemaker Dinners, located at and hosted by premier private winery estates across the Valley, bringing NVFF Patrons, filmmakers and VIPs together for conversation over extraordinary meals featuring the Valley's most acclaimed wines.

On Sunday, November 17th, NVFF closed the curtains with the powerful film, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, directed by Justin Chadwick and starring Idris Elba and Naomie Harris. Justin Chadwick attended and captivated the audience with inside stories of his time in South Africa with the Mandela family. Following the screening was the Awards Ceremony & Wrap Party at Uptown Theater, which was hosted by NBC Bay Area anchor, Raj Mathai. The coveted jury and audience-voted prizes were presented to winners on-stage. True to its location in Napa Valley, the festival also presented its annual Foodspotting culinary-themed awards with The Restaurant at Meadowood's three Michelin-starred Chef Christopher Kostow making the presentations. The grand film prize -- Best Narrative Feature chosen by the festival's Jury headed by Jury President Joe Carnahan -- went to Hank and Asha, directed by James E. Duff. Duff was presented with a double magnum of a wine from Behrens Family Winery called Labor of Love. Duff also received a check for $10,000 courtesy of Meadowood Napa Valley.

"It was brilliant. There were really great films, fantastic venues and parties, and I probably consumed about 60 gallons of white and red wine, which I plan to work off at the gym," said Jury President Joe Carnahan. "There were very strong films in the competition and exciting new voices among the filmmakers. The jurors did a great job and reached consensus after much deliberation for the various awards given. It's such a well-run, magnificently laid out festival. I had a blast and plan to come back next year, inviting many more of my industry friends to enjoy the fantastic Napa Valley. This festival is not to be missed."

The full list of awards is below:

Jury Awards for Narrative Features:

Best Screenplay (Wine presented by: Roy Eisiminger of Handwritten Wines - 3L)

  • The Girl on the Train, Directed by: Larry Brand

Best Ensemble Cast (Wine presented by: Truchard Vineyards - 3L, and Garret Murphy of Vintner's Collective - 3L)

  • The Girl on the Train, Directed by: Larry Brand

Best Narrative Feature (Wine presented by: Les Behrens of Behrens Family Winery - 3L)

  • Hank and Asha, Directed by: James E. Duff

Special Jury Award for Best Cinematography

  • My Brother Jack, Cinematography by: Kerim Duran and Directed by: Stephen Dest

Jury Awards for Documentary Films:

Best Short Documentary (Wine presented by: Katie Leonardini of Whitehall Lane Winery - 3L)

  • Sky Burial, Directed by: Tad Fettig

Best Feature Documentary (Wine presented by: Doug Hill of Hill Family Estate - 3L)

  • Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth, Directed by: Pratibha Parmar

Special Recognition Prize for the Most Thought-Provoking Film (Wine presented by: Revolver Wine Company - 3L)

  • The Last White Night, Directed by: Paul Saltzman

Jury Awards for Animated Shorts:

Best Animated Short (Wine presented by: Derek Bromley of Hess Collection - 3L)

  • Sleight of Hand, Directed by: Michael Cusack

Honorable Mention (Wine presented by: Derek Bromley of Hess Collection - Magnum)

  • The Right Place, Directed by: Jamie Gallant

Honorable Mention (Wine presented by: Derek Bromley of Hess Collection - Magnum)

  • Horsepower, Directed by: Olivia Lai Shetler

Jury Awards for Narrative Short Films:

Best Narrative Short (Wine presented by: Judd Wallenbrock of Jessup Cellars - 3L)

  • King of Norway, Directed by: Sylvia Sether

Honorable Mention (Wine presented by: Judd Wallenbrock of Jessup Cellars - Magnum)

  • The Romantics, Directed by: Ryan Daniel Dobson

Honorable Mention (Wine presented by: Judd Wallenbrock of Jessup Cellars Winery - Magnum)

  • The Listing Agent, Directed by Matthew Helfgott and Jared Hillman

Jury Awards for SONY 4K Film Challenge:

SONY 4K Film Challenge (Wine presented by: Michelle Baggett of Alpha Omega - Magnum)

  • Weapons, Directed by: Ryan Daniel Dobson

Audience Awards:

Favorite Narrative Feature (Wine presented by: Sean Sullivan of Sullivan Vineyards - 3L)

  • The Little Tin Man, Directed by: Matthew Perkins

Favorite Documentary Feature (Wine presented by: Favia Erickson Wines - 3L)

  • Finding Hillywood, Directed by: Leah Warshawski

Favorite Documentary Short (Wine presented by: Violet Grgich of Grgich Hills Estate - 3L)

  • Make Haste Slowly: The Kikkoman Creed, Directed by: Lucy Walker

Favorite Lounge Feature (Wine presented by: Mary Beth Salmieri of Jamieson Ranch - 3L)

  • Starring Adam West, Directed by: James Tooley

Favorite Lounge Short (Wine presented by: Jeff Hill of Hill Wine Company - 3L)

  • The Romantics, Directed by: Ryan Daniel Dobson

Favorite Animated Short (Wine presented by: Jon Emmerich & Tamara Miller of Silverado Vineyards - 3L)

  • Horsepower, Directed by: Olivia Lai Shetler

Favorite Actor (Wine presented by: Susan Holmer of Terlato Family Vineyards - 3L)

  • Andrew Pastides (who played Hank in Hank and Asha)

Favorite Actress (Wine presented by: Rosemary Hermans Walls of Swanson Vineyards - 3L)

  • Mahira Kakkar (who played Asha in Hank and Asha)

Favorite Narrative Short (Wine presented by: Susan Parry of Parry Cellars - 3L)

  • The Listing Agent, Directed by Matthew Helfgott and Jared Hillman

Food Spotting Awards:

Best Menu Item (Wine presented by: Garnet - Magnum)

  • Alexis Handelman of ABC Bakery

Crowd Favorite (Wine presented by: Kandice Jessup of J. Gregory Wines - Magnum)

  • Annie the Baker

Master Foodspotter (Wine presented by: Fortunati Vineyards - Magnum)

  • Colleen Harmon

Host (Wine presented by: Bryan Page of Revolver Wine Company - Magnum)

  • Christopher Kostow

Host Awards:

Jury President (Wine presented by: Michael Polenske of Bespoke Collection - 3L)

  • Joe Carnahan

MC (Wine presented by: Rob Jennings of Paratus - Magnum)

  • Raj Mathai

Festival Founders (Wine presented by Sean Sullivan of Sullivan Vineyards - 3L)

  • Brenda & Marc Lhormer

The 2013 Napa Valley Film Festival Jury:


  • Joe Carnahan: American Screenwriter and Director. The popular cult film Smokin' Aces followed Mr. Carnahan's critically acclaimed cop drama Narc, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2002 and earned him a Best Director Independent Spirit Award nomination. He returned to the Director's chair in 2012 with the critically acclaimed, box office success The Grey starring Liam Neeson. Prior to that, he teamed with Neeson on the big screen version of the beloved TV show The A-Team.

U.S. Narrative Features

  • Sydney Levine: Sydney Levine's thirty plus years in the film industry include having been the first woman in international film distribution at 20th Century Fox, a pioneering acquisitions executive for Lorimar, and later Vice President of Acquisitions for Republic Pictures. She maintains the blog SydneysBuzz, which appears on IMDbPro's front page and is a featured blog of IndieWIRE.

  • Dana Harris: Dana Harris is the Los Angeles-based editor-in-chief and general manager of the Webby Award-winning Indiewire. Prior to joining IW, she spent nearly 11 years at Variety in roles that included film reporter, creating lifestyle section Variety Weekend, serving as editor of and developing new products for the publication's website.

  • Dan Mirvish: Dan Mirvish is an active director, screenwriter, producer and author. His film Between Us, starring Julia Stiles and Taye Diggs, has played over twenty film festivals in 7 countries, has won several awards, was released theatrically over the summer, and is now available on multiple formats. He was mentored by Robert Altman on his first film, Omaha (the movie), which led him to co-founding the upstart Slamdance Film Festival that runs concurrent with Sundance.

  • Morrie Warshawski: Morrie Warshawski works with nonprofits and filmmakers that are having difficulty realizing their full potential. He helps them create roadmaps to a better future through strategic planning. His work is characterized by a commitment to the core values of creativity, thoughtfulness, transparency, and tolerance. Warshawski has worked in the field for over thirty years as an administrator, consultant, facilitator, teacher and writer.

U.S. Documentary Features and Short Films

  • Lissa Gibbs: Lissa Gibbs's professional experience includes producing educational and network broadcast documentaries and teaching in middle, high school, and college level institutions. She has held leadership positions at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Tucson and at San Francisco's Film Arts Foundation (FAF), working in all areas of operations including strategic planning, communications, public relations, board relations, program development, fundraising and cultivation, membership, grant writing, and budgeting.

  • Dierk Sindermann: Dierk Sindermann was managing editor of the entertainment section at a German newspaper before coming to the US in 1980. He has been member of the Hollywood Foreign Press, which presents the annual Golden Globes, for 30 years. As correspondent for 10 publications in Europe, he is constantly at new film screening, interviewing directors, producers and actors, and writing reviews and movie-related stories.

  • Jennifer Siebel Newsom: An advocate for women, girls, and their families, Jennifer Siebel Newsom uses her skills as a filmmaker, speaker, and CEO of the non-profit social action organization to uncover the glaring injustices we live with every day, yet fail to adequately see and ultimately change. She wrote, directed, and produced the documentary film Miss Representation, which exposes the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence in America. Today, when she's not running, Newsom serves as a board member for PBS's Northern California affiliate KQED, a Global Advisory Board member of the Dove Self Esteem Project (DSEP), and a commissioner on the Girl Scouts' Healthy Media Commission.

U.S. Narrative Short Films

  • Dave Grohl: Dave Grohl is one of the most respected figures on the international music scene. Dave got his start at 17 with the punk band Scream, and made his recorded debut as drummer for Nirvana on 1991's generation-defining Nevermind. Dave then took center stage with his own band, Foo Fighters, who have since sold more than 25 million records, won 11 Grammys, and become one of the biggest drawing live acts the world over.

  • Actress Rose McGowan: Rose McGowan is an American actress, best known for her role as Paige Matthews in the drama series "Charmed" and her role in Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof.

  • Actress Madeline Zima: Madeline Zima began her acting career at the age of seven, and has developed into one of the most seasoned and diverse young actress today. Zima is known for her role as Mia Lewis on "Californication."

Animated Short Films

  • Paul Duffy: At Amazon Web Services, Paul Duffy helps teams of all sizes bring their ideas to life by taking advantage of the low-cost utility computing offered by Amazon Web Services. Paul focuses on many different scenarios, including animated shorts. Paul has 17 years of experience in the technology sector at both very large and very small companies and has a keen interest in film.

  • Ryan Tudhope: Ryan Tudhope is co-founder of Atomic Fiction, a groundbreaking visual effects studio that has harnessed cloud computing to remain lean and agile while doing work that is bold and more inventive. Tudhope has overseen visual effects on over thirty major motion pictures including Star Trek Into Darkness, The Lone Ranger, Flight, Looper, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Superman Returns, Sin City, Hellboy and the Academy Award-winning Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

  • Neil Berkeley: Neil Berkeley has been working in film and television for over ten years, and has developed content and packaging for some of TV's most popular shows including Project Runway, Top Chef, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food, America's Next Great Restaurant, Bravo's Work of Art and many more.

"We couldn't be more pleased with this year's festival with our impressive line-up of film screenings and panels, fine food and wine and outstanding events, and the tremendous support of our many sponsors, Patrons, and festival-goers," said Co-Founder Brenda Lhormer. "Now, we will throw a party for our 600 volunteers, get a little rest, and start planning for an even bigger and better festival in 2014!"

Special Pre-Sale Deals for NVFF 2014
The 4th annual Napa Valley Film Festival (November 12 - 16, 2014) is offering special pricing now through Dec. 31, 2013. Discounted rates are as follows:

  • Festival Passes for $195 (regularly $295)
  • Pass Plus for $445 (regularly $595)
    *Both passes offer five-day access to films, panels, tastings and demos; Pass Plus now also includes the Gala, Tributes, Awards/Wrap and priority access to premiere screenings.
  • 4-packs are offered, perfect for holiday gift-giving
    • Four Festival Passes for $660 ($165 each -- normally $295)
    • Four Pass Plus Passes for $1,660 ($415 each -- normally $595)
  • Patron Circle memberships start at $2,500 per person (tax-deductible); join the Circle or renew your membership by Dec. 31, 2014 and receive a complimentary Festival Pass ($250 value) for a friend or family member

For more information or to purchase passes at the best rates to be offered all year, please visit by midnight, December 31, 2014.

About the Napa Valley Film Festival & Cinema Napa Valley:
The Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) is produced by Cinema Napa Valley, a registered 501c3 non-profit organization headquartered in Napa, California. The NVFF's mission is to support the art of independent filmmaking and cinematic story-telling; enhance and diversify Napa Valley's cultural landscape, and to provide educational opportunities in and out of the classroom for local students. The ultimate celebration of film, food and wine, NVFF lights up the picturesque towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga at the most colorful time of year. NVFF features over 100 new independent films and studio sneak previews screening in 12 beautiful venues throughout the four walkable villages, as 300 visiting filmmakers interact with audiences at screenings and intimate events. Attendees enjoy film panels & culinary demonstrations, wine tasting pavilions, the spectacular Festival Gala, Celebrity Tributes, Awards Ceremony, and an array of parties, VIP receptions and winemaker dinners and more. Major 2013 Sponsors included Cadillac (Official Automobile Sponsor), Amazon Web Services and Intel (Animated Short Films), and Sony Electronics. Leading Sponsors included Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Stella Artois (Official Beer), Meadowood Napa Valley (Artists-in-Residence Program), ColorZone and AVMS. Supporting Sponsors included Sterling Vineyards, Domaine Chandon/Newton Vineyards, Union Bank, Terlato Family Wineries, and Classic Party Rentals. Top Media Sponsors included: Traditional Home Magazine (Napa Valley Showhouse), MORE Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle/, The Hollywood Reporter, Wine Spectator, NBC Bay Area, Mutineer Magazine, and Comcast/XFINITY. Join the conversation online by following NVFF on various multimedia channels including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
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