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2015 Napa Valley Film Festival Award Winners and Final Impressions

2015 Napa Valley Film Festival Award Winners and Final Impressions

Much larger in sponsorships, this year’s Napa Valley Film Festival (November 11-15) has become so popular that the main road between Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga is jammed and the smaller theaters are playing to SRO crowds. The St.Helena Cameo Cinema is the longest running single screen theater in the United States, going back to 1913 and “featuring 400 seats, 150 opera chairs, a modern stage and two standing sets”. 

Culinary, wine and film mix well here. This year we were invited to dine with second-generation vintner Ron Nicholsen, at his estate, Kelham Vineyards, where chief Tyler Rodde from Oenotri, the southern Italian restauranteur from the town of Napa served us his finest food. And at every screening, the best of wines are tasted, In the morning we could (and I did once) practice yoga on the vineyard banks of the river running through the valley. Afternoon and evenings wine pours freely and people mix as they go to movies or to the parties and receptions. My big discovery was White Stone Wine grown on the shores of the mighty Lake Roosevelt in the shadows of Whitestone Rock. I award it for its white chalky stone accent on its bold red wines.

Jury and audience awards were given to the winners at the Uptown Theatre on Sunday, November 15, 2015. The Festival had screened 120 new independent films in 12 unique screening venues in the four postcard-perfect towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga.

David Glasser, COO and President of The Weinstein Company presented awards on behalf of the third annual Lexus Short Film Series. Lexus’ Media Director Teri Hill and TWC announced the four winners, Alexis Michalik, Byoung-Gon Moon, Damian Walshe-Howling and Pippa Bianco. Look for my blog about this event.

The Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature went to “The King of New Orleans”.

The Special Jury Award for Authenticity in Narrative Feature Storytelling went to Life in Color”.

The Full List of Juried Awards is Below:
A Full List of a Audience Awards is Below:

Lexus Short Films winning filmmakers received their awards presented by Alpha Omega Winery, Merryvale Vineyards, Raymond Vineyards and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars.

Juries

Narrative Features Jury: Sydney Levine, Morrie Warshawski, Ralph Macchio
Documentary Features and Shorts Jury: Dierk Sindermann, Marcia Jarmel, Sheri Linden
Narrative Shorts Jury: Alonso Duralde, Neil Berkeley, Lissa Gibbs
Documentary Shorts Jury: Ken Schneider, Brandon Carroll, Jenni Olson
The Lounge Jury: Gren Wells, Evy Warshawski, Elvis Mitchell

Each of the festival winners received a large format wine bottle from one of the festival’s esteemed Vintner Circle winery partners. For the first time The Lounge Features and Shorts were up for the Juried and Audience Awards. The winners of the Best Narrative Feature and Best Documentary Feature jury were awarded $10,000, presented by Meadowood Napa Valley.

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