Green Book - Napa Valley Film Festival Fall arts preview
(L to R) MAHERSHALA ALI and VIGGO MORTENSEN star in Participant Media and DreamWorks Pictures' "Green Book." In his foray into powerfully dramatic work as a feature director, Peter Farrelly helms the film inspired by a true friendship that transcended race, class and the 1962 Mason-Dixon line.

Welcome to the eighth annual Napa Valley Film Festival (November 7 – 11), just 47 miles north of San Francisco. Less than a month after the devastating fires which swept across wine country, the Festival moves forward to create a memorable week of the best in cinematic storytelling.

Of particular interest to San Franciscans is a delightful documentary entitled Perfect Note, Perfect Taste, about the legendary Café Jacqueline in North Beach. At age 82, Chef Jacqueline Margulis still prepares each soufflé. Having dined there on more than one occasion, I was able to watch this short film with anticipatory pleasure.

A highlight of the narrative feature films is Ask for Jane, based on real events in the Chicago area between 1969 and 1973. Given the recent controversy over the selection of a Supreme Court justice, this film about women’s rights could not be more timely.

Also featured in the Napa Valley Film Festival is Matthew Heineman’s A Private War about celebrated war correspondent Marie Colvin (1956-2012). Rosamund Pike stars in an Oscar-worthy performance.

Opening the Festival is another standout film, Green Book, based on the experiences of music virtuoso Don Shirley when he left Manhattan to tour in the Deep South in the 20th century. During that period in American history, people of color relied on the Green Book to guide them to the few establishments that were safe for travelers. Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali star. Screenwriters Nick Vallelonga and Brian Currie will participate in a Q&A after the screening.

Inspired storytelling can not only change your day, but can truly change the world.

Screening venues are located in Calistoga, St. Helena, Yountville and Napa. Those in attendance will enjoy culinary demonstrations, panel discussions, a festival gala, awards ceremonies and celebrity tributes in additional to the films.

Napa Valley Film Festival - Schedule, preview, news and reviews

Co-founders Marc Lhormer and Brenda Lhormer would like us to remember:

“It’s the movies we turn to: for distraction from our troubles,
for a good laugh (or a good cry), and for opportunities
to feel empowered to make a difference.
…Inspired storytelling can not only change your day,
but can truly change the world.”

NVFF runs November 7 – 11, 2018 in venues across the Napa Valley.

Jeanne Powell
Jeanne is a published poet and essayist. She holds degrees from Wayne State University and the University of San Francisco. Jeanne has taught in the CS, UB and OLLI programs at universities in the City. Her books in print include MY OWN SILENCE and WORD DANCING from Taurean Horn Press.