Napa Valley Film Festival 2011

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by Courtney Cochran

nvFilmFestival.jpgSelect venues throughout the Napa Valley

Founded by Bay Area locals and Bottle Shock producers Brenda and Marc Lohrmer, the first-ever Napa Valley Film Festival promises a chockablock schedule of feature, documentary and short film screenings, sneak previews, gala events, and conversations with film industry insiders over five days. 

Highly anticipated festivities will take place in venues from Carneros to Calistoga, with a gala kick-off reception going down at Robert Mondavi Winery on Thursday, November 10.  Thirsty film-goers will be able to sample pours from a diverse lineup of local vintners at wine pavilions, pre-screening pourings and winery open houses throughout the valley as well as at "Festival Front Porches," unique venues offering check-in rewards, live music and social media interactivity. Access Hollywood fans, take note: host Billy Bush will emcee the festival's Tribute Night program on Saturday in Yountville. 
Film offerings are similarly robust, with programming spanning an impressive roster of big and small name productions alike. Things kick off with a sneak preview of the new Clint Eastwood/Leonardo DiCaprio vehicle "J. Edgar" before a full feature-length viewing of George Clooney's "The Descendants" officially opens the festival Thursday. Visitors can also look forward to checking out the satirical comedy "Butter," which stars Jennifer Garner and Hugh Jackman, in addition to more truly "indie" fare such as shorts targeted at twenty-somethings and other lovers of edgy film fare.  

Visitors are encouraged to purchase festival passes, though a select number of last-minute à la carte tickets will be made available for individual screenings when seats remain. For more on the five-day lineup, packages and ticket information, visit NapaValleyFilmFest.org

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