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Napa Valley Film Festival

The 10th Napa Valley Film Festival takes place November 10-14, 2021 in the four walk-able villagesof Napa, Yountville, St. Helena, and Calistoga. Each year the festival features 125 new independent films, 300+ filmmakers and film industry guests, 150 wineries, 30 chefs, and an array of culinary demonstrations, wine tasting pavilions, and special events.

The Napa Valley Film Festival is produced by Cinema Napa Valley, a registered 501c3 non-profit organization headquartered in Napa, California. The festival's co-creators (and Cinema Napa Valley Founders) are Brenda and Marc Lhormer, producers and distributors of the feature film BOTTLE SHOCK, about the historic upset victory by Napa Valley wines over the French at the infamous 1976 wine-tasting competition in Paris. BOTTLE SHOCK premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival before going on to international theatrical distribution. The husband-and-wife team also ran the successful Sonoma Valley Film Festival from 2001 through 2008. In addition to producing the annual Napa Valley Film Festival, Cinema Napa Valley presents special film programs throughout the year and provides support to student filmmaking programs in Napa Valley schools. To learn more, visit


Napa Valley Film Festival Announces 2021 Call for Entries


10th Annual Festival to Take Place November 10-14, 2021


$10,000 Cash Prizes Each for Best Narrative Feature and Best Documentary Feature


The Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) taking place November 10-14, 2021 is now accepting film submissions for its 10th annual iteration. NVFF showcases an outstanding presentation of independent filmmaking, while also building a strong sense of community around the art of visual storytelling. Film screenings and networking events are accompanied by Napa Valley’s world-class food, wine, and hospitality. Visiting filmmakers interact with audiences at screenings and intimate events while enjoying industry panels, culinary demonstrations, wine-tastings, festival parties, and more.


“We look forward to welcoming everyone back to Napa Valley later this year as we celebrate our 10th anniversary,” said Michael Polenske, Cinema Napa Valley CEO & Creative Director. “After attending the last nine festivals as a guest and sponsor, I’m excited to join the team for such a tremendous milestone and we cannot wait to showcase an amazing programming slate for our audiences this year.”


NVFF programmers will select up to 90 independent films of any genre to be screened alongside sneak peeks of studio releases and award season contenders. As a nod to local food and wine culture, NVFF will also showcase a Culinary Cinema category of both shorts and features focusing on, or specifically highlighting, topics such as the culinary arts, viticulture, or mixology.


Feature length films (50 minutes or longer) can be programmed in one of the following sections: Narrative or Documentary Features Competition (U.S. productions only), Verge (foreign and domestic productions) or Special Presentations and Culinary Cinema (foreign and domestic productions). The core Narrative and Documentary Features Competitions are juried, as is Verge, a separate selection of bold, eclectic, and boundary-pushing films.


Short films (narrative and documentary, under 30 minutes) are programmed in curated content-centric collections. Separate juries present awards for Best Narrative Short and Best Documentary Short.


The 16-18 films in NVFF’s U.S. Narrative and Documentary Feature Competition categories (approximately 8 in each section) vie for the titles of Best Narrative Feature and Best Documentary Feature. Both of these awards accompany a $10,000 cash prize. The films’ directors also participate in NVFF’s unique and educational Artists-in-Residence Program, which includes interactive master classes with industry leaders and networking opportunities at festival receptions, winemaker dinners, and parties in premiere wine country destinations.


Past industry speakers and panelists for the Artists-in-Residence Program include producer/actress Kyra Sedgewick, casting director Mary Vernieu (Betty Mae Casting), writer/director/actor Jim Rash (The Descendants, The Way Way Back), producer Christine Vachon (Killer Films), director T.J. Martin (Undefeated), writer/actor Jenny Lumet (Rachel Getting Married), producer Suzanne Farwell (The Intern, The Holiday), and actor/producer Nnamdi Asomugha (Crown Heights).


Filmmakers can submit projects exclusively through FilmFreeway. For early submissions with discounted entry fees, the Early Bird Deadline is February 18. The Regular Deadline takes place on March 26, followed by the Late Deadline on April 23. The final opportunity to submit a film for consideration is marked by NVFF’s Extended Deadline, June 4. For more information on how to submit, visit



About the Napa Valley Film Festival

The Napa Valley Film Festival is presented by Cinema Napa Valley, a registered 501c3 non-profit organization headquartered in Napa, California. Cinema Napa Valley’s mission is to celebrate the cinematic arts and enrich the community by presenting an annual world-class festival and year-round education and outreach programs. The Napa Valley Film Festival takes place November 10-14, 2021. Visit for more information on passes and festival events.

Visit for more information or call 707.387.4098.


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