He’s stayin’ alive. And in our hearts.

Famed ageless wonder known as John Travolta is set to unlock a career achievement award at this year’s edition of the Napa Valley Film Festival.

Now in its fifth year, NVFF organizers say they will also hold special tributes for actor Bruce Dern (“Legendary Actor”), and actor-writer Keegan-Michael Key (“Trailblazer”).

Founded by Brenda and Marc Lhormer, NVFF is set to run November 11 – 15, 2015 in 11 venues located across the Napa Valley.

John Travolta - Career Achievement Award at Napa Valley Film Festival
John Travolta will receive a “Career Achievement” award a the fifth anniversary edition of NVFF.

John Travolta rose to fame in the 1970s. Who could forget his Oscar-nominated turn as polyester king Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever (1977)? In a career of memorable performances, perhaps none scorched the the zeitgeist as wickedly as his “come back role” in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction (1994). Heart-stopping stuff. Literally.

Stark Insider NVFF picks

The Stanford Prison Experiment
The Stanford Prison Experiment

Here’s some of our favorite films, many with early Oscar buzz, set to screen at NVFF 2015:

Romantic drama Carol (dir. Todd Haynes) starring Cate Blanchett.

Son of Saul (Lázló Nemes) – a “devastating experience” per Clinton Stark who screened the intense Holocaust film earlier at the Mill Valley Film Festival.

Newssroom drama Spotlight (Tom McCarthy) featuring an all-star cast led my Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton. “Come Oscar time, expect to see Spotlight well represented” – read the Stark Insider review.

Cate Blanchett in Carol.
Romantic drama ‘Carol’ starring Cate Blanchett is one of several films screening at NVFF receiving early Oscar buzz.

Fans of psychological experiments won’t want to miss The Stanford Prison Experiment (Kyle Patrick Alvarez).

100 points: Oenophiles and documentary afficianods alike should not miss Somm: Into the Bottle, the sequel to the film about aspiring sommeliers.

NVFF Festival Jury

Chef Greg Cole - NVFF Jury
Chef Greg Cole.

Once again, though it’s only five days long, NVFF features a jury who will judge films based on these four categories: narrative features, narrative shorts, documentary features, documentary shorts, and “the lounge”.

Chef/owner Greg Cole is set to host deliberations Sunday morning, with presentations to follow that evenening at the closing awards ceremony.

San Francisco Arts & Culture news, stories, videosNVFF Key Events and Dates

Tuesday, Novemeber 10

5:30pm Sneak Preview Screening: The 33 (Cameo Cinema, St. Helena)
7:30pm – 10:00pm Meet the Artists Party at (Gallery, St. Helena)

Wednesday, November 11

12:00pm – 5:00pm Lombardi Trophy Tour (Napa Valley Museum, Yountville)
1:00pm Red Carpet Award Season Screening: Carol (Uptown Theatre, Napa)
5:00pm Opening Night Screening: Somm: Into the Bottle (Uptown Theatre, Napa)
7:30pm – 10:00pm Opening Night Party (Promenade at the Napa River Inn)

Thursday, November 12

12:00pm – 5:00pm Lombardi Trophy Tour (Napa Valley Museum, Yountville)
11:00am – 1:00pm Variety’s 10 to Taste (Promenade at the Napa River Inn)
5:30pm Gala Film Screening: Spotlight (Lincoln Theatre, Yountville)
8:00pm – 2:00am Festival Gala (Lincoln Theatre, Yountville)

Friday, November 13

1:00pm – 4:00pm Industry Mixer (Solage Calistoga Resort & Spa, Calistoga)
6:00pm – 7:30pm Celebrity Tributes (Lincoln Theater, Yountville)
7:30pm – 10:00pm Celebrity Tributes Party (Inn at Randolph, Napa)

Saturday, November 14

7:00pm Vintner Circle Dinners (Multiple Locations)

Sunday, November 15

5:00pm Closing Night Screening: Born to Be Blue (Lincoln Theatre, Yountville)
8:30pm – 10:00pm Awards Ceremony (Uptown Theatre, Napa)
10:00pm – 12:00am Wrap Party (City Winery Tap Bar & Restaurant, Napa)

In total, this year’s edition of NVFF features 120 films, 300 filmmakers, 150 wineries (this is Napa, after all!), and 30 chefs. In other words, it should be about as good as it gets.

You can get see an at-a-glance schedule overview on the NVFF site here. Or download the PDF for handy reference and planning.

Also be sure to dig in to the NVFF 5th anniversary festival guide (ISSU).

Stark Insider hopes to see you there. Let the show begin…

With Clinton Stark in Napa.

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