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Additional articles BY COURTNEY COCHRAN



It’s a Wrap

Spotlight on the Sonoma Valley Film Festival

The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide named it one of America's "Top Ten Best Vacation Film Festivals." IFC News called it a “cinematic magic carpet ride." Each year it draws an eclectic crowd of hot indie filmmakers, food and wine enthusiasts, celebs and adventurous locals to partake in its festivities.

And this year promises to be better than ever.

What is it? Duh! It’s the Sonoma Valley Film Festival, running this year from April 11th through the 15th right here in the heart of wine country.

In its 10th year, this year’s highly anticipated festival is quite possibly THE excuse you’ve been looking for to make a trek to wine country. Besides celebrity cameos and other surprises, the festival will feature gourmet wine and food pairings prior to every screening of its more than 75 scheduled indie flicks from around the world. And in keeping with the wine theme, many films will be screened at wineries, putting cinema quite literally smack dab into the context of some of the best wine and food found anywhere.

Take Two
Praised by the likes of The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle and Wine Enthusiast for its stellar programming and indulgent wine and food experiences, Sonoma’s annual festival also offers visitors opportunities to explore nearby wineries, mingle with emerging filmmakers and attend glam pre- and post-film parties. Plus, star winemakers and celebrity chefs will be on-hand to chat guests up about their wares in person, making the festival quite possibly the most stellar coming together of celebs from the worlds of film, food and wine anywhere.

And besides these perks, the festival will culminate with a highly anticipated Saturday evening tribute to Sonoma Valley resident and two-time Academy Award®-winning director John Lasseter, the creative force behind Disney and Pixar Animation Studios. The tribute will also include appearances by Mr. Lasseter’s friends and creative collaborators, many of whom are movers and shakers in the far-away land of Hollywood.

Production Details
If coming for the whole festival still sounds like a tall order to you, then consider attending the Sonoma Valley Film Festival LIGHT, the way I like to look at the Festival Gala scheduled for Saturday, April 14. THE social event of the festival, the Gala promises to be a fantastic celebration of wine, food and music at Cline Cellars winery and vineyard in Sonoma. Essentially, it’ll be a great way to get a taste of the festivities without committing to the whole thing.

Tickets to the festival range from $100 for the Gala only, $225 for access to all film screenings and panels (but excludes the Festival Tribute, Awards Ceremony, Opening and Closing Night screenings, Gala and VIP events), and up to $1200 for a Patron ticket, an all-access pass that includes perks like VIP admission to the Festival Tribute, Gala, private receptions and exclusive after-parties, VIP Hospitality Center, and no waiting in lines. Because if you’re mingling with the stars, you might as well feel like one too.

Click here for Sonoma Valley Film Festival Exclusive Experience

To sign up, visit sonomafilmfest.org.