By Mark Bell | November 12, 2012

The 2012 Napa Valley Film Festival, which took place November 7-11, 2012, has announced the winners for the festival’s jury and audience awards. From the official press release:

Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) Co-Founders and Directors Brenda and Marc Lhormer have announced its Jury and Audience Awards for the 2nd annual film festival. Showcasing the best of new independent cinema along with the Napa Valley’s finest food, wine and hospitality, NVFF more than doubled with attendance higher than 50%, in its second year from November 7 – 11, 2012.

Jury Awards for Narrative Features:

Best Narrative Feature ($10,000 Cash Prize presented by Meadowood Napa Valley; wine from Lail Vineyards) Future Weather, written and directed by Jenny Deller
Special Jury Award for Cinematography (wine from Beaulieu (BV) Vineyard) Not Waving but Drowning, directed by Nathan Levine-Heaney
Special Jury Award for Acting (wine from Freemark Abby) Madeline Zima and Joel David Moore in Stuck, directed by Stuart Acher
Mt. Veeder Peak Performance for Best Acting in a Narrative Feature ($1,000 Cash Prize and wine from Mt. Veeder Appellation) Alan C*****g in Any Day Now, directed by Travis Fine

Jury Awards for Documentary Films:

Best Documentary Feature (wine from Terlato Family Vineyards) Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself, co-directed byTom Bean and Luke Poling
Special Jury Prize for Most Promising Documentary Filmmaker (wine from Hill Family Estate) Shape of Things to Come, directed by Matt Day
Best Documentary Short Subject (wine from Alpha Omega) The Last Ice Merchant (El Ultimo Hielero), directed by Sandy Patch

Jury Awards for Narrative Short Films:

Best Narrative Short (wine from Chappellet and Fortunati, respectively) Co-winners: My Name Is Your First Love, written and directed by Rob Richert; The Pact, written and directed by Jason Pugatch
Special Jury Award for Social Impact (wine from Saintsbury) Put It In a Book, directed by Rodrigo Garcia

Audience Awards:

Favorite Narrative Feature (wine from Behrens Family Winery) Any Day Now, written and directed by Travis Fine
Favorite Documentary Feature (wine from Peju Province Winery) Rising From Ashes, directed by T.C. Johnstone
Favorite Documentary Short Subject (wine from Chiarello Family Wines) Necking, directed by Lindsay Lindenbaum
Favorite Narrative Short (wine from Allora Vineyards) High Maintenance, written and directed by Shawn Wines
Favorite Lounge Feature (Narrative or Doc) (wine from SHOW from Trinchero Family) Beware of Mr. Baker, directed by Jay Bulger

The 2012 Napa Valley Film Festival Jury consisted of: Jury Co-President Leonard Maltin, respected Film Critic and Historian – perhaps best known for his annual paperback reference Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide – currently teaching at USC School of Cinematic Arts; Jury Co-President Joe Carnahan, well-known Writer/Director of films such as The Grey, Smokin’ Aces, and Narc; John Horn, Film Editor at the Los Angeles Times, where he has been on staff since 2002 and had previously been on staff at Newsweek and premier magazines; Sydney Levine, having thirty plus years in the film industry including being the first woman in international film distribution at 20th Century Fox; Lisa Schwartz, Executive Vice President of Distribution Operations and Business Development for Sundance Selects and IFC Films; Morrie Warshawski, who has worked in the nonprofit arts and culture sector for over thirty years and formerly served as the Executive Director of Bay Area Video Coalition in San Francisco; Paul Zaentz, a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania who started his movie-making career on the Academy Award winning film Amadeus; Lisa Gibbs, the Executive Director of the Napa Valley College Foundation; T.J. Martin and Dan Lindsay, Co-Directors/Co-Editors/Co-Cinematographers of the Oscar-winning documentary, Undefeated, a selection of the NVFF 2011; Sheila Benson, the Principal Film Critic for the Los Angeles Times from 1981–1991. Affiliated with the National Society of Film Critics and the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, Sheila has served on juries at film festivals including Berlin, Toronto, and Sundance. Melanie Lynskey, accomplished and versatile actress, originally from New Zealand whose credits include: Win-Win, Up in the Air, The Informant, Away We Go, Flags of Our Fathers, Sweet Home Alabama and her first award-winning role was in Heavenly Creatures with Kate Winslet; Pat Saperstein, Associate Editor of Variety, where she coordinates festival coverage and daily news. Pat has served on juries at several festivals and has been on numerous panels; and Raj Mathai, NBC Bay Area’s News Anchor and personality hosted the Awards Ceremony on Closing Night and received a bottle of Mumm Non-Vintage Brut Prestige. Additionally, the jury co-presidents were presented with 3 liter bottles of wine: Leonard Maltin was given a bottle of Duckhorn 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon and Joe Carnahan was given a bottle of Cornerstone Cellars 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon.

On Friday, November 9, Access Hollywood‘s Billy Bush hosted the Celebrity Tribute Program was held at the Lincoln Theater in Yountville. NVFF honored James Marsden with the “Trailblazer” Tribute, the actor and singer known for his roles in 30 Rock, Enchanted, Hairspray, and Robot & Frank, whose upcoming films include Two Guns, opposite Denzel Washington, and playing John F. Kennedy in The Butler. James was also presented with a bottle of 2005 Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. NVFF’s “Spotlight On” Tribute went to the seductive Alan C*****g, who has created indelible roles in The Anniversary Party, Sweet Land, the hit series The Good Wife, and his powerful performance in Any Day Now (NVFF 2012). Alan received a bottle of 2008 Ehlers Estate One Twenty Over Eighty with his award. NVFF presented two “Rising Star” Tributes: Imogen Poots, a talented young British actress who costars in A Late Quartet (NVFF 2012), and received a bottle of Chandon Non-Vintage Brut Classic along with her award; and Adam Driver who has a charming performance in the NVFF 2012 feature, Not Waving But Drowning, and also received a bottle of Chandon Non-Vintage Brut Classic with his award. Driver is best known for his roles in HBO’s Girls, Angels in America, You Don’t Know Jack and J. Edgar, the latter opening NVFF 2011. Host, Billy Bush, also received a bottle of 2008 Allora Vineyards “Lusso” Cabernet Sauvignon.

In addition to all of the awards given to actors and films, the NVFF highlighted an impressive array of local restaurants from the Napa Valley which were recognized throughout the five-day festival. This year’s Master Foodspotter was Elissa Gordon, with almost 25 sightings. The “Silence of the Lamb Barbacoa Taco” from La Condesa was voted this year’s “Best Menu Item,” and received the most votes for the name and concept. Alexis Baking Co. was awarded the “Crowd Favorite” as they had the most photos, three of each of their five items.

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  1. Hey there – just wanted to note that not waving but drowning was directed by Devyn Waitt – Nathan Levine-Heaney is the cinematographer!

    • Mark Bell says:

      Yeah, I think the press release just goofed there. The award was for cinematography, so the winner is correct, but the usage of “directed by” is incorrect then.

  2. We were excited to screen at the festival this year, which was one of THE BEST ones we’ve been lucky enough to attend!

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