Napa Valley’s ultimate wine, food and film experience is set to take place November 9th-13th. This year’s event marks its sixth year of bringing together the valley’s best chefs and wineries, as well as a dirty of talented filmmakers from all over the country and beyond. NVFF attendees will have the opportunity to view 120 films including new independent films, as well as sneak previews of upcoming films aiming for recognition during awards season. With five days packed to capacity with amazing experiences, you will want to be in the know and plan ahead.
Where to Go
NVFF spans the entire Napa Valley, with all the wine country towns getting in on the festivities. From Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga, each village features screening venues, a wine pavilion, a box office, and its own individual charm of restaurants, shops and wineries. Guests can choose to venture from village to village during the week or opt to settle down and enjoy all that one town has to offer.
What to Do
With 120 outstanding films showing this year, planning in advance is essential to get as much in that you can. The most anticipated films include the Awards Season screenings of yet-to-be-released films aiming for Oscar and Golden Globe recognition. “Lion”, starring celebrity tribute honoree, Dev Patel, and “Mr. Church”, starring legendary actor Eddie Murphy, are amongst the eleven films being previewed this year.
Being able to screen films from up and coming filmmakers gives you inside access to the future of filmmaking. Each year, the Artists-In-Residence Program hosts directors of Narrative and Documentary features, whose films are entered into competition, judged by the audience and industry experts alike. This interactive element allows festival goers to share their opinions on films and see which movies take the top prize.
This is Napa Valley after all and the food component is expertly paired with the festival schedule. Culinary demos at the Napa Riverfront are a can’t miss. All pass holders will experience the knowledge and culinary finesse of some of the industry’s top experts in food and wine. Some of the standouts this year include a movie food and wine pairing session, and wine and cocktail blending sessions. Patron Circle members and their guests will also get to enjoy Variety’s 10 to Taste; a special session sponsored by the Food Network and Cooking Channel. Top student chefs from the Bay Area will present dishes to be paired with key scenes from well-known films. Each of the festival villages will host a Wine Pavilion every afternoon, featuring a rotating lineup of wineries from around the valley. Tastings are free to festival pass holders. However, tickets for guests without passes will be sold at the entrance to the wine pavilions.
Arrive early to the culinary demonstrations! The seating for these events fill up fast!
What Not to Miss:
This annual event pays homage to legendary filmmakers and actors; as well as those who are embarking upon stellar careers in film and paving the way of the future. This year’s honorees include Lee Daniels, Kurt Russell, Matthew McConaughey Viggo Mortensen, Chloe Grace Moretz, Dev Patel, Glen Powell and Zoe Deutch. This event is included with Pass Plus and Patron Circle festival passes. Individual tickets can be purchased for $50 per person.
A party of four can save at $40 per person.
The festival’s biggest party is set for Saturday, November 12th. Dress in wine country chic for this red carpet extravaganza. Partygoers will meet celebrities, filmmakers, and sample some of Napa Valley’s best food and wine. Of course, no party is complete without a little music to groove to. The gala will feature two main stages with live music from MJ’s Brass Boppers and DJ Upcut. Ivy Hill Entertainment will also spotlight Cuban tunes from the documentary, The Forbidden Shore, for guests to dance the night away. Included with Pass Plus and Patron Circle memberships, tickets are available for purchase at $225 person.
Haven’t found the right look for the gala? Shop at Helen Lyall on the river front for all your couture Napa Valley clothing needs. From sportswear to evening wear you’ll find fashionable clothes for all events.
Where to Stay:
The Napa Inn Bed and Breakfast
1137 Warren Street
Napa, CA 94559
TripAdvisor Review: Rated 4.5 out of 5/Certificate of Excellence
Two, adjacent, turn of the century Victorian buildings comprise the Napa Inn – located in a quiet setting, just steps to downtown Napa. Each of the eight rooms and seven suites is a uniquely themed escape from the busy valley. Enjoy a full gourmet breakfast every morning, and evening refreshments of port and sherry served with delicious appetizers. A great place to lay your head after a full day(and evening) of festivities!
They have an onsite spa room and you’re able to book in-room massages as well.
The River Terrace Inn
1600 Soscol Avenue
Napa, CA 94559
TripAdvisor Review: Rated 4.5 out of 5/Top 10 Napa Hotels/Certificate of Excellence
Set among the Oxbow Park Preserve and overlooking the Napa River, this hotel offers beautifully serene accommodations. The rooms are spacious, open and set with modern luxury. Enjoy live music on the weekends, or borrow a cruiser bicycle to explore the city of Napa.
The River Terrace Inn is offering 10% off room rates, a complimentary wine hour, and $50 off on passes to the festival.
Meadowood Napa Valley
900 Meadowood Lane
St. Helena, CA 94574
TripAdvisor Review: Rated 4.5 out of 5/#1 Hotel in St. Helena/Certificate of Excellence
Host to the Annual Filmmakers Artists-in-Residence Program during the festival, Meadowood was also named one of Travel and Leisure’s 2015 World’s Best Resorts in the US. Tucked into 250 acres in St Helena, the property is home to an array of activities and unique amenities to include a 9-hole golf course, croquet and tennis courts, a Michelin three-star restaurant, and much more.
2016 Vintner Circle Dinner with Estate Chef Alejandro Ayala will be at Meadowood for the highest level of Patron Circle: Movie Moguls.
Napa Valley Lodge
2230 Madison Street
Yountville, CA 94599
TripAdvisor Review: Rated 4.5 out of 5/Top 5 Hotels in Yountville/Certificate of Excellence
Nothing compares to a view nestled among the vineyards. The Napa Valley Lodge is an intimate, Tuscan-style property located in Yountville, that makes guests feel right at home with their luxurious amenities. Relax next to your wood-burning fireplace, or enjoy a glass of wine at sunset from your balcony.
: Napa Valley Lodge is offering 10% off Sunday-Thursday room rates, a Champagne Continental Breakfast every morning, and many other treats for guests during the festival.
Great Places to Screen Movies:
If venturing into St. Helena, be sure to stop by our partner winery, Freemark Abbey. Their historic barrel room will serve as a cozy theatre during the festival. The tasting room and restaurant will be open for guests to enjoy before and after screenings.
Silo’s in Napa has become an area favorite for live music, great food and drinks. Located at the Historic Napa Mill, this intimate location will offer food and wine from winery partner, The Hess Collection, to enjoy during the screening.
The revitalization of The CIA at Copia has had the community in anticipation to see this amazing food and wine destination come to life once again. Seating 240 guests, be sure to arrive early to grab a glass of wine and a bite to eat at the new restaurant before seeing your film.
Arrive at least thirty minutes early to the screening venues. If you are a day pass holder or looking to buy a Rush Ticket, you may want to arrive sooner, as there is priority access for VIP and Pass Plus ticket holders.
How to Festival:
A great aspect of NVFF is that it is designed to please moviegoers of all kinds. There are options for enjoying the full festival experience, as well as choices for those who only have a limited amount of time to spend.
Full Festival Pass Levels
Patron Circle: Get VIP treatment and first priority access to almost everything! Pass holders enjoy reserved seating at special screenings, exclusive invitations to dinners and parties, and many more benefits. This is the best way to meet and mingle with the celebrities! ($2500-$25,000)
Pass Plus: Priority access to films plus entry into the five special parties and ceremonies ($645)
Festival Pass: Five days of film, food and wine ($295)
Limited Time Options
Midweek Pass: Same benefit level as a Festival Pass and only good from Tuesday through Thursday ($125)
Weekend Day Pass: Festival Pass access for one day ($75-$99)
Rush Tickets: A great way to just enjoy the films, these tickets are only available at the door of each venue. ($15)
Don’t forget to take advantage of your Pass holder Perks. Local restaurants, wineries and other specialty shops offer discounts on wine, food, cocktails and other services.
How to Get There
Beau Wine Tours
1754 Second Street, Suite B
Napa, CA 94559
As the official NVFF transportation sponsor, Beau Wine Tours is the valley’s leading luxury transportation service. They are renown throughout wine country for offering guests an unparalleled customer service experience. With the best in luxury vehicles, top-notch staff and white-glove service, Beau Wine Tours is sure to make your festival travels memorable. This is a great way to experience the different villages and screenings, while enjoying yourself in comfort, luxury and safety.
There is a special discount of 15% available for film festival attendees, and 20% for Patron Circle Members and Corporate Sponsors.