Film Festival Roundup: Napa Valley Reveals Full Lineup, Bentonville Announces 2017 Dates And More

Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column.
Rooney Mara and Dev Patel in Lion
The Weinstein Company

Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column. Check out last week’s Roundup right here.

Full Lineup Announcements

– The sixth annual Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) has announced its complete line-up, Opening Night and Red Carpet screenings, special events and additional honorees for its Celebrity Tributes. NVFF returns in full force with a five-day festival showcasing the year’s best new independent films in 13 unique screening venues in the Wine Country towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga, running November 9 – 13.

The Festival will play host to a strong selection of films, including many of this year’s award contenders, like The Weinstein Company’s “Lion,” which will be this year’s Opening Night film, and Open Road Films’ “Bleed for This.” As the perfect bookend to the festival, the independent documentary “Pisco Punch: A Cocktail Comeback Story” will serve as the Closing Night film. You can check out the full lineup — including an always-robust slate of Celebrity Tributes — at their official site.

– The Middleburg Film Festival’s Executive Director Susan Koch announced today the main slate of films for the 2016 festival. The festival opens Thursday, October 20 with Garth Davis’ feature film directorial debut “Lion,” starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, and Rooney Mara. The festival’s Friday Spotlight selections include “Moonlight” and “Manchester By the Sea.” Kelly Fremon Craig makes her feature directorial debut with “The Edge of Seventeen,” starring Hailee Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson.

As previously announced, “La La Land,” starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, will screen as the 2016 Centerpiece selection on Saturday, October 22 with Oscar-nominated director Damien Chazelle in attendance. “Loving,” from director Jeff Nichols, will screen as the Sunday Morning Spotlight selection. The festival will also screen six foreign language submissions to the Oscars, including films from Italy, Chile, Germany, Iran, Denmark, and Spain. You can check out the full lineup at their official site.

– The 29th Virginia Film Festival (taking place in Charlottesville from November 3 – 6) has announced lineup of more than 120 films that will include legendary film icons in addition to some of the hottest new titles on the festival circuit.

This year, the VFF will welcome a trio of internationally-renowned film legends, including Virginia’s own Shirley MacLaine, filmmaker Werner Herzog and actor-director Liv Ullmann. The three will kick off the VFF’s Conversation Series that will combine intimate and wide-ranging discussions of their careers and lives with clips of some of their most notable work. Film highlights include “The Promise,” “The Red Turtle,” “I Am Not Your Negro” and “La La Land.” You can check out the full lineup at their official site.

"The Red Turtle"
“The Red Turtle”

– The La Costa Film Festival has announced the official selections for the 4th edition of the popular destination film festival hosted by the renowned Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, California. Running from October 13-16, LCFF will open with a gala screening of Johnathan Brownlee’s festival hit, “Three Days in August” and will honor two-time Golden Globe nominee, Chris Noth with the festival’s inaugural Shining Star

Other highlights include the world premiere of Nathan Apffel’s “The Longest Journey,” a special 30th Anniversary 3D screening of “Top Gun,” LCFF’s signature “Reel Pitch” competition, sports film competition, and Closing Night gala screening of Annie J. Howell and Lisa Robinson’s “Claire In Motion” among the 20 feature films, 23 short films, and filmmaker panels presented over the course of the jam-packed four-day film festival. You can check out the full lineup at their official site.

– The New Orleans Film Festival has just released their full film line-up, available to view here. Highlights include the previously announced “LBJ” as the Opening Night Film, which will also include a presentation of a Career Achievement award to Rob Reiner, presented by Woody Harrelson, as well as the world premiere of “Ella Brennan: Commanding the Table,” as well as screenings of “Moonlight,” “Lion” and “Manchester by the Sea,” among many others.

"Always Shine"
“Always Shine”

– The Indie Memphis Film Festival presented by Duncan-Williams, Inc., (taking place November 1-7) has announced its full slate of films for the 19th edition of the annual festival this year. Prichard Smith’s documentary “The Invaders,” executive produced by Craig Brewer opens the festival, while Stephen John Ross’s documentary “Kallen Esperian: Vissi d’Arte” bookends an impressive slate of 185 films (51 features, 93 shorts and 41 music videos), including 5 world premieres and 1 U.S. Premiere. Other highlights include “Always Shine,” “Certain Women,” “Little Sister,” “Manchester By the Sea,” “Cameraperson” and “Tickled.”

– The New Hampshire Film Festival, which takes place in Portsmouth, NH from October 13 – 16, has announced its lineup Features and Documentaries, including “Trespass Against Us,” “Things to Come,” “The Eyes of My Mother,” “Always Shine,” “King Cobra,” “After Spring,” “The Cinema Travelers” and “Obit.” You can check out the full lineup at their official site.

Openers, Closers and Other Additions

– The Austin Film Festival has announced its Centerpiece and Closing Night films for the 2016 season. “The Edge of Seventeen” will serve as Centerpiece, with producer James L. Brooks and writer/director Kelly Fremon Craig in attendance, while “Bleed For This” will end the festival as Closing Night, with writer/director Ben Younger in attendance. Other additions to the Festival program include thriller “Desierto” (starring Gael Garcia Bernal) from director Jonás Cuarón and “Youth in Oregon” (starring Frank Langella, Christina Applegate and Billy Crudup).

"Things to Come"
“Things to Come”IFC

– The 18th edition of the Rio Film Festival will open with Denis Villeneuve’s “Arrival.” The film screens on October 6 at the Cidade das Artes.

Honors and Tributes

– The Raindance Film Festival has announced that legendary and multi-award winning British filmmaker Ken Loach will receive the Festival’s first-ever Raindance Auteur Award, recognizing his achievements in filmmaking and contribution to the film industry. Best known globally for his films that highlight various British socio-economic issues, Ken Loach won the coveted Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for his latest film, “I, Daniel Blake.”

The award will be presented by Raindance Founder Elliot Grove, on Tuesday, September 27 where Mr. Loach will also participate in an “In Conversation With” discussion spanning his career, films, the ever-changing film industry and what he may have in store for audiences in the future.

Jury Announcements

– The 60th BFI London Film Festival has announced its jury line-up for this year’s Festival Awards. The juries will be led by: writer, director, producer Athina Rachel Tsangari; director Sarah Gavron; director Louise Osmond and and writer-director Mat Kirkby. The Awards ceremony, hosted this year by Golden Globe-winning and BAFTA nominee Michael Sheen, will take place on October 15 at Banqueting House, where, as previously announced, this year’s BFI Fellowship award will be presented to the visionary Turner Prize-winning video artist and Oscar-winning producer, director and screenwriter Steve McQueen.

Submissions and Prizes

– The Bentonville Film Festival (BFF) has announced the dates for the third annual festival, returning to Bentonville, Arkansas May 2-7, 2017. Co-founded by Academy Award winner Geena Davis & ARC Entertainment CEO Trevor Drinkwater, the Bentonville Film Festival champions women and diverse voices in all forms of media.

“We are so very proud of the progress we’ve made and the response we are getting in support of the mission of BFF.  Now moving into our third year, I feel more confident than ever that — with the support of our partners — we will create change in the media our children view so that it will reflect the world they actually live in, which is half female and very diverse,” said Davis.

"Certain Women"
“Certain Women”IFC Films

BFF 2017 will expand its short film competitions and add a commercial competition as well. Attendees will continue to enjoy an inspiring lineup of narrative and documentary film screenings, industry-focused panel discussions, musical performances, celebrity spotlight events and much more. The 2017 festival submissions for the BFF Film Competition will open on October 3, 2016.  Films accepted into the festival will be announced March 2017.  To learn more details about the BFF submission guidelines and process, head to their official site.

– The 23rd LA Film Festival is now accepting submissions, announced Film Independent. The Festival will take place June 14 – June 22, 2017 at ArcLight Cinemas with the Festival Headquarters located at the ArcLight Culver City. The early deadline for submissions is October 28, the regular deadline is November 18 and the late deadline is December 16, 2016. Please visit their site for submission guidelines and forms.

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