"I was like a magpie, selecting only the shiniest moments." - Writer/Director Devyn Waitt tells NVFF on how she came up with the idea for her beautiful film, Not Waving But Drowning (Source: NVFF Facebook Page)
“I was like a magpie, selecting only the shiniest moments.” – Writer/Director Devyn Waitt tells NVFF on how she came up with the idea for her beautiful film, Not Waving But Drowning, winner of a special Jury award for best cinematography. (Source: NVFF Facebook Page)

Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) co-founders Brenda and Marc Lhormer have announced its Jury and Audience Awards for the 2nd annual film festival (see complete list below). Showcasing the best of new independent cinema along with the Napa Valley’s food, wine and hospitality, NVFF more than doubled with attendance higher in its second year. (UPDATE: organizers say initial estimates range from a 33% to 50% increase; detailed final results will be shared as soon as they are available).

The Jury consisted of: Jury Co-President Leonard Maltin, respected Film Critic and Historian – perhaps best known for his annual paperback reference Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide – currently teaching at USC School of Cinematic Arts; Jury Co-President Joe Carnahan, well-known Writer/Director of films such as The Grey, Smokin’ Aces, and Narc; John Horn, Film Editor at the Los Angeles Times, where he has been on staff since 2002 and had previously been on staff at Newsweek and premier magazines; Sydney Levine, having thirty plus years in the film industry including being the first woman in international film distribution at 20th Century Fox; Lisa Schwartz, Executive Vice President of Distribution Operations and Business Development for Sundance Selects and IFC Films; Morrie Warshawski, who has worked in the nonprofit arts and culture sector for over thirty years and formerly served as the Executive Director of Bay Area Video Coalition in San Francisco; Paul Zaentz, a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania who started his movie-making career on the Academy Award winning film Amadeus; Lisa Gibbs, the Executive Director of the Napa Valley College Foundation; T.J. Martin and Dan Lindsay, Co-Directors/Co-Editors/Co-Cinematographers of the Oscar-winning documentary, Undefeated, a selection of the NVFF 2011; Sheila Benson, the Principal Film Critic for the Los Angeles Times from 1981–1991. Affiliated with the National Society of Film Critics and the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, Sheila has served on juries at film festivals including Berlin, Toronto, and Sundance. Melanie Lynskey, accomplished and versatile actress, originally from New Zealand whose credits include: Win-Win, Up in the Air, The Informant, Away We Go, Flags of Our Fathers, Sweet Home Alabama and her first award-winning role was in Heavenly Creatures with Kate Winslet; Pat Saperstein, Associate Editor of Variety, where she coordinates festival coverage and daily news. Pat has served on juries at several festivals and has been on numerous panels; and Raj Mathai, NBC Bay Area’s News Anchor and personality hosted the Awards Ceremony on Closing Night.

Additionally, the jury co-presidents were presented with 3 liter bottles of wine: Leonard Maltin was given a bottle of Duckhorn 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon (Watch: profile of Duckhorn Vineyards) and Joe Carnahan was given a bottle of Cornerstone Cellars 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon.

Actors Garret Dillahunt, Vanessa Ray, Alan Cumming, Jeff Grace Comedy and Madeline Zima at the ‘Actors in Conversation Panel’ at Silo’s in Napa. (Source: NVFF)

San Francisco Bay Area Arts and CultureNapa Valley Film Festival 2012

Jury Awards for Narrative Features:

Best Narrative Feature

Future Weather, written and directed by Jenny Deller

Special Jury Award for Cinematography

Not Waving but Drowning, directed by Nathan Levine-Heaney

Special Jury Award for Acting

Madeline Zima and Joel David Moore in Stuck, directed by Stuart Acher

Best Acting in a Narrative Feature

Alan Cumming in Any Day Now, directed by Travis Fine

Jury Awards for Documentary Films:

Best Documentary Feature

Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself, co-directed byTom Bean and Luke Poling

Special Jury Prize for Most Promising Documentary Filmmaker

Shape of Things to Come, directed by Matt Day

Best Documentary Short Subject

The Last Ice Merchant (El Ultimo Hielero), directed by Sandy Patch

Jury Awards for Narrative Short Films:

Best Narrative Short

Co-winners: My Name Is Your First Love, written by Darren Anderson and directed by Rob Richert; The Pact, written and directed by Jason Pugatch

Special Jury Award for Social Impact

Put It In a Book, directed by Rodrigo Garcia

Audience Awards:

Favorite Narrative Feature

Any Day Now, written and directed by Travis Fine

Favorite Documentary Feature

Rising From Ashes, directed by T.C. Johnstone

Favorite Documentary Short Subject

Necking, directed by Lindsay Lindenbaum

Favorite Narrative Short

High Maintenance, written and directed by Shawn Wines

Favorite Lounge Feature (Narrative or Doc)

Beware of Mr. Baker, directed by Jay Bulger

The 3rd annual Napa Valley Film Festival will take place November 6 – 10 , 2013.

Monica Turner
Contributor to Stark Insider for tech, the arts and All Things West Coast for over 10 years.