NAPA, Calif. — The Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF 2019) is about to kick off its ninth annual festival this week on November 13, 2019. Each year, those attending NVFF take in the most outstanding new independent films, washing them down with the best food and wine in Napa Valley. During 2019’s five-day Napa Valley Film Festival, guests will experience 100 films, 150 wineries and 50 chefs. In other words, all the very best that Napa Valley has to offer.
This year, sixteen films will compete for the best of the best, competing for the respective awards of Best Narrative Feature and Best Documentary Feature, as determined by the NVFF 2019 jury.
This year, look for standout films, including the following.
Standing Up, Falling Down, directed by Matt Ratner
Standing Up, Falling Down follows an unlikely friendship kindled between a struggling stand-up comedian and a tragically flawed, yet charming and charismatic dermatologist. Each helps the other find healing as well as the confidence to face the self-appointed failures in their lives. The film stars Billy Crystal, Ben Schwartz, Eloise Mumford, Grace Gummer, Caitlin McGee, David Castaneda, Debra Monk, and Jill Hennessy.
The Nomads, directed by Brandon Eric Kamin
Amidst the chaos of massive budget cuts and school closures, a young female teacher introduces men’s rugby to an inner-city North Philadelphia high school. The film features Tika Sumpter and Tate Donovan in key roles. This is the film’s West Coast Premiere.
Here Awhile, directed by Tim True
Anna returns to Oregon to reconnect with her estranged brother Michael. But only to reveal that she has decided to end her life via the Death with Dignity Act due to her terminal illness. Michael tries to convince Anna to continue fighting for her life, while Anna does her best to make her remaining days as fulfilling as possible. The film stars Anna Camp, Steven Strait, and Joe Lo Truglio. World Premiere.
I Am Human, directed by Taryn Southern and Elena Gaby
Meet the world’s first “cyborgs.” I Am Human follows the lives of a quadriplegic, a blind man, an amputee, a bio-hacker, a woman with Parkinson’s. It also follows the scientists who help them. These include one entrepreneur who vows to stop at nothing on his quest to unlock the human brain. West Coast Premiere.
The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion, directed by Lisa Cortes and Farah X
The follows the story of how hip hop changed fashion, leading to the stratospheric and global rise of street wear. The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion presents a journey of African-American creativity and the limitless possibilities of a cultural movement on a global scale.
Stealing School, directed by Li Dong
Tech prodigy April Chen finds herself accused of plagiarism by a teaching assistant. As a result, the two must stand trial at a secret academic tribunal to determine if April remains eligible for graduation. In this game of psychological cat and mouse, someone is always one step ahead and nothing is as it seems. The film stars Celine Tsai, Jonathan Keltz, Michelle Monteith, Mpho Koaho, Darrin Baker, Jonathan Malen, Matthew Edison, and Vas Saranga. World Premiere.
Be sure to add these films to your must-see list this at the Napa Valley Film Festival this year. Or, if you are unable to attend, look for them in theaters near you this holiday season.
Napa Valley Wine & Food
The Napa Valley Film Festival would not be complete without their unparalleled wine tastings, dinners, culinary demonstrations, master classes and mixers. Not to be missed events include the Wine Intermissions, Festival Gala, opening night party, and the illustrious Vintner Circle Dinners. These dinners have become epic events in themselves. The evening consists of 20 extravagant and intimate dinner parties happening simultaneously at an array of local Napa wineries. Napa Valley’s best wines are paired with the cuisine of award-winning chefs. Guests share a meal with the respective filmmakers, culminating in the quintessential film, food, and wine experience of the festival.
The Wine Intermissions features 10+ boutique wineries. Each pours their best varietals between film screenings at the two festival hubs, located in downtown Napa and St. Helena.
Kevin Bacon, Jillian Bell, Vanessa Hudgens and Olivia Wilde will be honored at NVCC 2019. In addition, rising stars Kelsey Asbille, Dean-Charles Chapman, Jacob Elordi, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Liana Liberato and Mena Massoud will receive special recognition. NVCC’s tribute program salutes individuals who take on dynamic roles and take risks, from rising stars who are on their way to greatness to renowned artists at the highest level of career achievement.
More specifically, kicking off the first of three days of tribute programming on Thursday, November 14, actor and musician Kevin Bacon (City on a Hill, Mystic River) will receive this year’s Charles Krug Legendary Actor honor. Actress Jillian Bell (Brittany Runs a Marathon, 22 Jump Street) is scheduled to receive the Spotlight award. And finally, actress and musician Vanessa Hudgens (Rent: Live, High School Musical) will receive the Blackbird Vineyards Visionary honor. This Napa Valley Film Festival Celebrity Tributes program will take place at Yountville’s Lincoln Theater and include video highlight reels and an intimate on-stage conversation with each honoree.
For more information on the Napa Valley Film Festival and to purchase tickets, visit their website.
— Headline image: Promo photo, NVFF 2019