I had the pleasure of being one of the jury members for Narrative Feature at the Napa Valley Film Fest. I saw films I would never have otherwise seen. You’ll want to keep your eye on a few filmmakers, namely Sophie Brooks who made a film called The Boy Downstairs, starring Zosia Mamet (awarded Best Ensemble). Other standouts include The House of Tomorrow (best screenplay), written and directed by Peter Livolsi, and of course, the winner of Narrative Feature, a musical called Stuck, written and directed by Michael Berry, which made me ugly cry in one of the oldest theaters in America. I also saw a film out of competition called Dog Years, starring Burt Reynolds, which will be in the awards conversation next year. Keep an eye out for that. I appreciated how the Napa Film Fest made an effort to highlight women filmmakers, and there were many of them with films there, both documentary and narrative.
Stuck doesn’t have a distributor yet. Someone best get on that.
The full list of Juried Awards is below:
- Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature presented by Italics Winegrowers, and with a $10,000 cash prize courtesy of Meadowood Napa Valley, goes toStuck.
- Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature presented by John Anthony Vineyards, and with a $10,000 cash prize courtesy of Meadowood Napa Valley, goes to Skid Row Marathon.
- Jury Award for Best Screenplay presented by Darioush goes to The House of Tomorrow.
- Jury Award for Best Ensemble Cast presented by Ma(i)sonry Napa Valleygoes to The Boy Downstairs.
- Jury Award for Best Narrative Short presented by Rombauer Vineyards goes to The Dam.
- Jury Award for Best Documentary Short presented by Grgich Hills Estate goes to The Tables.
- Jury Award for Best Lounge Feature presented by Duckhorn Portfolio goes to Quest.
- Jury Award for Best Lounge Short presented by Acumen Wines goes toThe Arrival.
- Special Jury Award – For Depth and Grace in Documentary Filmmaking presented by Castellucci Napa Valley goes to The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin.
- Special Jury Award – Best Breakout Performance in a Lounge Feature Film presented by Materra Cunat Family Vineyards goes to Mackenzie Davis for her work in the film Izzy Gets the Fuck Across Town.
A full list of Audience Awards is below:
- Audience Award for Favorite Actor presented by Tamber Bey Vineyards goes to Gregory Kasyan for his work in the film Quest.
- Audience Award for Favorite Actress presented by Davis Estates goes to Olivia Holt for her work in the film Class Rank.
- Audience Award for Favorite Documentary Feature presented by The Hess Collection goes to Skid Row Marathon.
- Honorable Mention goes to 40 years in the Making: The Magic Music Movie
- Audience Award for Favorite Documentary Short presented by Reynolds Family Vineyards goes to Make It Work: The Idea.
- Audience Award for Favorite Narrative Feature presented by VGS Chateau Potelle goes to Quest.
- Honorable Mention goes to Stuck.
- Audience Award for Favorite Narrative Short presented by RiverHouse by Bespoke Collection goes to The Final Show
- Honorable Mentions go to Life Boat and Brothers.
- Audience Award for Favorite Short Feature presented by Eleven Eleven Winery goes to Taming Wild: A Girl and a Mustang.
Narrative Features Jury: Nancy Collet, Sasha Stone, David Hinojosa
Documentary Features Jury: Freida Lee Mock, Brent Emery, Sophie Constantinou
Narrative Shorts Jury: Madeline Zima, Gabrielle Carteris, Jon Swartz
Documentary Shorts Jury: Dierk Sindermann, Jonathan Robinson, Gren Wells
The Lounge Jury: Peter Baxter, Richard Keith, Kim Rocco Shields
For information or to buy passes for the 2018 festival slated for November 7-11, 2018, visit NVFF.ORG or call 707-226-7500.