Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) Co-Founders and Directors Brenda and Marc Lhormer are proud to announce several of the festival’s star-studded headlining films, as well as the first set of honorees to be feted at the Celebrity Tribute Program, hosted by Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush. Showcasing the year’s best new independent films in 12 uniquely designed screening venues along with Napa Valley’s finest food, wine and hospitality, NVFF returns in full force with a five-day Festival spanning Napa Valley’s four postcard-perfect towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga, November 13 – 17.
On Opening Night, Wednesday, November 13, the Festival will present August: Osage County, based on the award winning play, and directed by John Wells, one of the most prolific writers, directors and producers for television, film and stage. The film stars the legendary Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, as part of a dysfunctional family returning to their home in Oklahoma. Sam Shepard, Juliette Lewis, Ewan McGregor, Julianne Nicholson, Margo Martindale, Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch and Abigail Breslin round out the stellar supporting cast. Courtesy of The Weinstein Company.
Two-time Academy Award®–winner Emma Thompson and fellow double Oscar®-winner Tom Hanks will “wow” audiences with a Gala Presentation, on Thursday, November 14, of Saving Mr. Banks, directed by John Lee Hancock and inspired by the extraordinary, untold backstory of the long road Disney’s classic Mary Poppins took to make it to the big screen. The terrific supporting cast includes Colin Farrell, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, B.J. Novak, Rachel Griffith, Kathy Baker and Paul Giamatti. Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.
In addition to August: Osage County and Saving Mr. Banks, NVFF will unspool the following new films:
The Immigrant: Directed by James Gray, this emotional film brings to life his obsession with social class, in particular the immigrant experience that relates to his Russian Jewish heritage. In search of a new start, Ewa Cybulski and her sister sail to New York from Poland. When they reach Ellis Island, doctors discover Magda is ill, and the two women are separated. Alone and desperate to unite with Madga, Ewa falls prey to Bruno, a charming but wicked man who forces her into prostitution. The arrival of Orlando the Magician restores her hopes for a brighter future. Starring Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jeremy Renner. Courtesy of RADiUS – TWC.
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom: The Festival Closing Night Film, Sunday, November 17. Directed by British filmmaker Justin Chadwick, this powerful film depicts the tumultuous history of Nelson Mandela and his harrowing life journey from rural childhood to anti-apartheid crusader to President of South Africa. Starring Idris Elba (The Wire) and Naomie Harris (Pirates of the Caribbean; Skyfall). Courtesy of The Weinstein Company.
Nebraska: Yet another remarkable film directed by Alexander Payne, Nebraska captures the effortless acting of an aging man (Bruce Dern) who is convinced he has won one million dollars and travels across two states with his estranged son (Will Forte) to claim his winnings. Payne captures real-life love and heartache through his breathtaking sceneries and script. Dern has already won the best acting prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Nebraska will screen as a Sneak Preview on Tuesday, November 12 at the Cameo Cinema in St. Helena. Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
One Chance: Starring James Corden, Alexandra Roach, Colm Meaney and Julie Walters, and produced by Simon Cowell, this is David Frankel’s sixth feature film. One Chance tells the remarkable true story of aspiring opera singer Paul Potts. Frankel’s previous work includes The Devil Wears Prada, starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway, Marley & Me, starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston, The Big Year, starring Jack Black, Steve Martin and Wilson, and Hope Springs, starring Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, and Steve Carell. Courtesy of The Weinstein Company.
Philomena: The Festival is proud to screen Philomena as its Centerpiece Presentation. Celebrated Director Stephen Frears has always embraced a wide variety of styles, themes and genres. Philomena, based on the book The Lost Child Of Philomena Lee by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith, is the true story of an Irish woman who was taken in by nuns as a pregnant teenager. Condemned to a slavish life at the abbey, she is forced to give up her four-year-old boy to an American couple she never meets. Late in life, aided by a journalist, she sets out to find her son. Starring Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan (playing Sixsmith). Courtesy of The Weinstein Company.
“We are truly humbled and honored to be presenting these outstanding films prior to their end-of-year theatrical releases,” said NVFF Executive & Artistic Director Marc Lhormer. “These star-studded movies are a nice complement to the over 100 new independent narrative and documentary features and shorts that comprise the main body of our film program. We invite everyone to join us in Napa Valley for a magical celebration at the most perfect time of year.”
This year’s Celebrity Tribute Program on Friday, November 15 will be hosted by Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush who will take the stage at Lincoln Theatre in Yountville for the third year, and once again amuse and delight audiences while interviewing the talented honorees and sharing stories.
2013 NVFF Rising Stars:
Miles Teller had the distinct honor and privilege of making his feature screen debut opposite Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart in the film Rabbit Hole based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play. In this tragic family drama, directed by John Cameron Mitchell, Miles played ‘Jason Willette’, a bit of a loner teen who escapes into a world of comic books and science fiction but whose solitary life comes crashing into the couple played by Kidman and Eckhart. Miles’s career is really taking off. He can currently be seen in theaters in the Sundance hit The Spectacular Now, opposite Shailene Woodley (The Descendants). Other recent film credits include 21 & Over, Project X, and Footloose. Next up are the comedy Get A Job and the fantasy action film Divergent.
Dianna Agron is on her way to becoming one of the most versatile, talented and sought-after young actresses in Hollywood. She is most widely known for playing Quinn Fabray on Fox’s hit television series “Glee” for which she has been nominated for three Teen Choice Awards. The “Glee” cast also won ‘Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble’ at the 2010 Screen Actors Guild Awards and two Golden Globe Awards for ‘Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy.’ Agron will next be seen in Luc Besson’s The Family, which follows the notorious Manzoni family when they relocate to Normandy under the witness protection program, where fitting in becomes challenging as their old habits die hard. Distributed by Relativity Media, the film also stars Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Tommy Lee Jones. The film will release on September 13, 2013.
John Lee Hancock is a Director, writer and producer, and has established himself as a distinctive voice in filmmaking. His work on The Blind Side led to two Oscar nominations (Best Picture, Best Actress) and garnered Sandra Bullock her very first Oscar. Previous film credits include: The Alamo, which he directed and co-wrote; The Rookie which he directed; My Dog Skip which he co-produced; Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and A Perfect World both of which he wrote with Clint Eastwood directing. Hancock also serves as an advisor for the Sundance Institute’s Screenwriting Lab.
Additional Tribute Honorees, special events and the full film lineup for the third annual Napa Valley Film Festival will be announced in late September and early October.
Film Screening dates and times subject to change.