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3 items from 2016

Napa Valley Festival’s Artist-in-Residence Program Connects Indies

9 November 2016 10:00 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

This year’s narrative and documentary feature competitions include 20 projects vying for grand prizes of $10,000 and bottles of wine, awarded to one narrative film and one doc. While all would love to walk away with the top prize, directors are already winners as they’re invited to participate in the festival’s Artists-in-Residence Program.

When people are submitting their films to us, it’s also kind of like applying to college — the film is their essay,” says Marc Lhormer, Nvff co-founder, executive and artistic director.

Those selected enjoy a six-night stay and decadent lunch and dinner receptions at luxury resort Meadowood Napa Valley during a residency that includes master classes with the likes of director Stephen Gyllenhaal (who also has the drama “So B. It” screening at the festival), producer Lynette Howell Taylor, and Wme’s Graham Taylor.

“The idea was, ‘How cool would it be for us to bring »

- Lindzi Scharf

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‘Book of Love,’ ‘Sticky Notes’ to Screen at Napa Valley Film Festival

7 September 2016 9:00 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The West Coast premieres of “The Book of Love” and “Sticky Notes” have been set for the sixth annual Napa Valley Film Festival during Nov. 3-9.

The two titles are part of the 10 films in the Narrative Feature Film lineup for juried competition along with 10 titles in the Documentary Feature competition. The awards ceremonies will take place Nov. 12 at the Lincoln Theater in Yountville.

“The Book of Love” stars Jason Sudeikis as an introverted architect with Jessica Biel as his quirky artist wife, who’s expecting their first child. When tragedy strikes, he quits his job and mopes around the house, taking passing notice of a young homeless girl (Maisie Williams) rooting around in the trash outside and helps her build a raft designed to weather a transatlantic crossing. Directed by Bill Purple.

Sticky Notes” stars  Rose Leslie as an emotionally detached backup dancer living in Los Angeles who, returns »

- Dave McNary

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Review: Condemned

8 January 2016 3:59 PM, PST | | See recent Icons of Fright news »

Condemned moves with beats and tone that is accelerated to the max. It’s a film that hits the ground running, and thrusts its characters into an infested fight for their lives. It’s also a very uneven and character development-lite approach. We see our protagonists go through hell in a single location, but we never get to really know who those said characters really are.

When Maya (Dylan Penn) is in the middle of a massive argument between her verbally abusive parents, her boyfriend, Dante (Some Kind Of Hate star Ronen Rubinstein) has the answer: come stay with him. When Maya arrives at Dante’s place, she discovers that it’s a condemned building, and each room is inhabited with people who are off their rocker, to say the least. There’s a man who makes his bondage slave drink urine; A crack-addicted prostitute; and a landlord who insists »

- Jerry Smith

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