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Napa Valley Film Festival 2015 Day One

Napa Valley Film Festival 2015 Day One

Napa Valley Film Festival kicked off with (what else?) a wine movie. “Somm: Into the Bottle,”
the second documentary exploring the Exclusive Court of Master Sommeliers. To be distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films, “Somm: Into the Bottle”, as told through the eyes of the world’s greatest
sommeliers and winemakers, raises the curtain on the seldom-seen world that surrounds the wine we drink and gives viewers close-up access to the most
accomplished sommeliers in the world and to some of the most prestigious winemakers working today. By opening some of the world’s most rare bottles of
wine, the viewer understands how a wine ages and just what happens in a cellar.

At the festival’s gala opening night party, filled with vintners pouring their wines accompanied by some of the best restaurants in
the world supplying bite size hors d’oevres, Peter Goldwyn pointed out that the film is already number 22 on iTunes because of the fan base built up by
Jason Wise’s previous film, “Somm” in which four sommeliers attempt to pass the
prestigious Master Sommelier exam, a test with one of the lowest pass rates in the world. As Peter circulated through the crowd of the local bourgeoisie
and filmmakers like Eric Troung whose 30 minute short is also screening here, I felt right at home…I love seeing new friends and old at these events.

So far, as a jury member, I have seen one film, “Life in Color” directed, written and produced
by Katherine Emmer, along with producers Jason Berman, Anne Carey, Lance Johnson and Giles Clark and starring, as a lovable slob who grows up, Josh
McDermitt, Katharine Emmer herself who could play a spoiled rich girl as well as the miserably inattentive nanny she plays in this movie, Adam Lustick a
really perfect button-down successful comedian buddy of Josh, Fortune Feimster and Jim O’Heir. Katharine’s directorial feature film debut, “Life in Color”,
world premiered at South by Southwest 2015. It won Best of Fest – The L.E.S. Prix D’Or at The Lower East Side Film Festival 2015 in New York City.

I am now about to see the second film, “Tumbledown,” directed by Sean Mewshaw, produced by Aaron
Gilbert, Kristin Hahn and Margo Hand, written by Desi Van Til and Sean Mewshaw and starring Jason Dudikis, Rebecca Hall, Blythe Danner (!), Dianna Agron,
Griffin Dunne (“Dallas Buyers Club” and “After Hours”!) son of Dominick Dunne and older
brother of Dominique Dunne, Joe Manganiello and Richard Masur. Starz will release the film stateside. Director-writer Sean Mewshaw was raised in Rome,
Italy and spent a decade in L.A. working on film sets where he was mentored by some of his heroes. He made a short starring Frances McDomand (one of my
favorite actors btw), then moved to Portland, Maine with his wife Desi (who cowrote “Tumbledown”), where he directs theater wile developing film projects.
“Tumbledown is his feature debut.

End of Day One and Beginning of Day Two,
signing off, Sydney Levine, working in her suite at the Embassy Suites with my
partner Peter Belsito sitting on the other side of the table after he hosted a
pitch session with Scott Mandille.

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