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10 items from 2015

2015 Napa Valley Film Festival Award Winners and Final Impressions

25 November 2015 3:00 PM, PST | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

Much larger in sponsorships, this year's Napa Valley Film Festival (November 11-15) has become so popular that the main road between Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga is jammed and the smaller theaters are playing to Sro crowds. The St.Helena Cameo Cinema is the longest running single screen theater in the United States, going back to 1913 and “featuring 400 seats, 150 opera chairs, a modern stage and two standing sets". 

Culinary, wine and film mix well here. This year we were invited to dine with second-generation vintner Ron Nicholsen, at his estate, Kelham Vineyards, where chief Tyler Rodde from Oenotri, the southern Italian restauranteur from the town of Napa served us his finest food. And at every screening, the best of wines are tasted, In the morning we could (and I did once) practice yoga on the vineyard banks of the river running through the valley. Afternoon and evenings wine pours freely and people mix as they go to movies or to the parties and receptions. My big discovery was White Stone Wine grown on the shores of the mighty Lake Roosevelt in the shadows of Whitestone Rock. I award it for its white chalky stone accent on its bold red wines.

Jury and audience awards were given to the winners at the Uptown Theatre on Sunday, November 15, 2015. The Festival had screened 120 new independent films in 12 unique screening venues in the four postcard-perfect towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga.

David Glasser, COO and President of The Weinstein Company presented awards on behalf of the third annual Lexus Short Film Series. Lexus’ Media Director Teri Hill and TWC announced the four winners, Alexis Michalik, Byoung-Gon Moon, Damian Walshe-Howling and Pippa Bianco. Look for my blog about this event.

The Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature went to “The King of New Orleans”.

The Special Jury Award for Authenticity in Narrative Feature Storytelling went to “ Life in Color”.

The Full List of Juried Awards is Below: Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature presented by Taken Wine Company, and with a $10,000 cash prize courtesy ofMeadowood Napa Valley, went to “ The King of New Orleans”. Jury Award for Best Screenplay presented by Italics Winegrowers went to “ Tumbledown”. Jury Award for Best Ensemble Cast presented by Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley went to “ Jane Wants a Boyfriend”. Member of the ensemble, Louisa Krause, also won the Audience Award for Favorite Actress. Audience Award for Favorite Actress presented by Eleven Eleven Wines went to for her work in the film "Jane Wants a Boyfriend." Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature presented by Trinchero Napa Valley, and with a $10,000 cash prize courtesy ofMeadowood Napa Valley, went to "Romeo is Bleeding." Jury Award for Best Narrative Short presented by Wolf Family Vineyards went to "It’s Perfect Here." Honorable Mention went to "Birthday." Jury Award for Best Documentary Short presented by Priest Ranch went to "Elder." Honorable Mentions go to: "Code Oakland, Une Passion d’or et de feu" (A Passion of Gold and Fire) , and "Riding the Highline."

Jury Award for Best Lounge Feature presented by Ca’ Momi Winery went to "Night Owls." Jury Award for Best Lounge Short presented by Modus Operandi Cellars went to "A Man Wakes Up." Honorable Mention went to "Ci: A Tedd Talkumentary." Special Jury Award – Courage in Documentary Feature Filmmaking presented by Rombauer Vineyards went to " Life Under Siege: Exploring Gaza’s Secret Tunnels." Special Jury Award – Authenticity in Narrative Feature Story-Telling presented by The Hess Collection Winery went to "Life in Color." Special Jury Award – Acting in a Lounge Feature Film went to sisters Aly Michalka and Aj Michalka for their work in the film "Weepah Way For Now." A Full List of a Audience Awards is Below: Audience Award for Favorite Actor presented by Caldwell Vineyard went to David Jensen for his work in the film "The King of New Orleans." Audience Award for Favorite Actress presented by Eleven Eleven Wines went to Louisa Krause for her work in the film "Jane Wants a Boyfriend." Audience Award for Favorite Documentary Feature presented by Grgich Hills Estate went to "Landfillharmonic." Audience Award for Favorite Documentary Short presented by Kelham Vineyards and Winery went to "Ron Taylor: Dr. Baseball." Audience Award for Favorite Narrative Feature presented by Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. went to "Friends and Romans." Audience Award for Favorite Narrative Short presented by Favia Erickson Winegrowers went to "Sin Frontera." The Runner-Ups for Narrative Shorts presented by Matthiasson Wines are "Playdate" and "Birthday." Audience Award for Favorite Short Feature presented by Beaulieu Vineyard went to "Sketch." Lexus Short Films winning filmmakers received their awards presented by Alpha Omega Winery, Merryvale Vineyards, Raymond Vineyards and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars.

Juries Narrative Features Jury: Sydney Levine, Morrie Warshawski, Ralph Macchio

Documentary Features and Shorts Jury: Dierk Sindermann, Marcia Jarmel, Sheri Linden

Narrative Shorts Jury: Alonso Duralde, Neil Berkeley, Lissa Gibbs

Documentary Shorts Jury: Ken Schneider, Brandon Carroll, Jenni Olson

The Lounge Jury: Gren Wells, Evy Warshawski, Elvis Mitchell

Each of the festival winners received a large format wine bottle from one of the festival’s esteemed Vintner Circle winery partners. For the first time The Lounge Features and Shorts were up for the Juried and Audience Awards. The winners of the Best Narrative Feature and Best Documentary Feature jury were awarded $10,000, presented by Meadowood Napa Valley. »

- Sydney Levine

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Leighton Meester Has That New Mom Glow as She's Photographed for the First Time Since Giving Birth to Arlo Day

20 November 2015 6:35 AM, PST | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

Long time no see, Leighton Meester! The former Gossip Girl actress recently enjoyed a "girls' night" in the Valley with her best friends Gina Gammell, Aly Michalka, Amanda Michalka, Davida Williams and Madeline Zima. Leighton regrammed a group photo Thursday after Al shared it via her own Instagram account. Aly said they were "#gettingourorbson." Aj shared a similar shot and wrote, "So much love." Davida's caption didn't reveal much else about the girls' get-together, either. "Cute dogs and a bunch a girls," she wrote. The girls' night in marks the first time Leighton has been photographed since giving birth to a daughter, Arlo Day, with her husband, actor Adam »

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The Goldbergs’ Aj Michalka Talks Lainey’s Role in Season 3, Her Promotion to Series Regular & More

30 September 2015 8:17 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Season 3 of The Goldbergs got off to a fantastic start last week, and the series continues to be one of the very best comedies on television. One of the best parts about this new season of The Goldbergs is the promotion of Aj Michalka from recurring status to series regular as Barry’s (Troy Gentile) girlfriend, Lainey Lewis. Recently, I got the chance to ask Aj a few questions about her history with the show and what it’s like this season now that she has a much larger role. Check out her answers down below: TVOvermind: Thank you so much [for talking with us]! Talk a little about how you got involved with The Goldbergs. What was it about the show that really made you want to be a part of it? Aj Michalka: I met Adam Goldberg through my sister. We were good friends, and I was around during the development of the concept… »

- Jasef Wisener

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L.A. Film Festival Exclusive: Family Tension Explodes In Clip From 'Weepah Way For Now' With Aly And Aj Michalka

15 June 2015 7:36 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

A younger generation of viewers likely know siblings Aly and Aj Michalka from the stints on Disney television, or as the musical duo 78violet, but the sisters have taken a confident step into the world of indie filmmaking with "Weepah Way For Now." Inspired after watching Richard Linklater's "Before Midnight" to try something in a similar spirit, their effort arrives soon at the L.A. Film Festival and today we have an exclusive clip. Featuring an ensemble cast that includes the Michalkas along with Mimi Rogers, Dan Byrd, Amanda Crew, Madeline Zima, Liam Aiken, Jon Heder, Tyler Labine, Gil Bellows, Ryan Donowho, Gale Harold, Erin Cummings, plus narration by Saoirse Ronan, the story follows musical sisters Elle and Joy, who spend their last week before going on tour visiting friends and preparing for the going away party they intend to host. Their apprehensions about throwing the party is universally »

- Edward Davis

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‘Weepah Way For Now’ L.A. Film Fest Trailer: Aj & Aly Michalka Star & Produce

9 June 2015 10:02 AM, PDT | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

Weepah Way For Now, written and directed by Stephen Ringer, will world premiere June 16th in the La Muse section of the Los Angeles Film Festival. Real-life sisters Aj Michalka (The Goldbergs) and Aly Michalka (iZombie) star in and produce the film about two sisters on the cusp of adulthood. The pair spend their last week before heading off on  their next music tour visiting friends and preparing for the going away party they intend to host. Their apprehensions about… »

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This week in tv news: Kurt Sutter returns to FX with a new show

23 May 2015 8:00 PM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Lee Jones in FX’s new series, The Bastard Executioner

Kurt Sutter is poised to return to FX with a new series. FX has given a series order to the new show from Sutter, who previously created Sons of Anarchy and wrote for The Shield, both of which were on FX as well. Titled The Bastard Executioner, the show’s first season will run for ten episodes, with Brian Grazer onboard as executive producer as well. Relative newcomer Lee Jones will be taking on the titular role, with Sons of Anarchy‘s Katey Sagal, True Blood‘s Stephen Moyer, and Starred Up‘s Sam Spruell among the cast, alongside Sutter himself.  The AmericansMatthew Rhys is also set to guest star on the series.

The show itself will make its premiere on FX in the fall, though a date has yet to be announced. The show’s synopsis, via FX’s press release, »

- Deepayan Sengupta

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The Goldbergs Promotes Aj Michalka to Series Regular for Season 3

18 May 2015 2:22 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Good things come to those who wait. After two seasons of stealing every scene in which she’s been present, Aj Michalka has been promoted to a series regular on The Goldbergs ahead of the show’s third season. Michalka, who plays Erica’s best friend and Barry’s girlfriend, Lainey Lewis, has been recurring on the show since Season 1, and her promotion comes after a largely increased focus on the supporting cast in the semi-autobiographical show from the real Adam Goldberg. The Hollywood Reporter was the first to report the casting news. The third season of The Goldbergs will feature Aj Michalka’s first time as a regular on television. Also a singer-songwriter and member of music duo 78violet with her sister Aly, Aj has been featured in multiple episodes of The GuardianHellcats, and Oliver Beene, and she has also appeared on the big-screen in Super 8 and Grace Unplugged. »

- Jasef Wisener

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TVLine Items: Seth MacFarlane Is a Genius, Idol Ep Exits and More

18 May 2015 1:54 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Lucky there’s a man who, positively can do, all the things that make us laugh and cry…

As it turns out, the Family Guy theme best applies to its creator, Seth MacFarlane, who will receive the Louis Xiii Genius Award at this year’s Critics’ Choice Television Awards.

RelatedJustified, Broad City, Empire, Mom, 24, Jane the Virgin, Transparent Lead the 2015 Critics Choice Nominations

The Genius Award honors those who demonstrate unprecedented excellence in the television arts. Past recipients include Ron Howard, Ryan Murphy and Judd Apatow.

Additionally, nominees were announced for the inaugural “Most Bingeworthy” Award, among them American Horror Story: Freak Show, »

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Aly Michalka Is Getting Married! Disney Star Enjoys the "Perfect" Bridal Shower Thanks to Sister Aj—See the Pics!

4 May 2015 3:04 PM, PDT | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

Into the wedding rush now!  Disney stars Aly Michalka and Aj Michalka—better known simply as Aly and Aj—have spent the past few years turning into beautiful adults. And at the same time, one has fallen in love and is ready to say "I Do." That's right, Aly is getting married and the bride-to-be celebrated a special bridal shower and bachelorette party this weekend with her closest friends. Organized by her "amazing sister and Maid of Honor" Aj, the sisters traveled to Aventine Trattoria in Hollywood for lunch. "It was a beautiful afternoon. They enjoyed salads and sandwiches and sipped on white sangria, mimosas and Bellini's all afternoon," a source »

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'The Goldbergs' Cast Previews Sadie Hawkins Episode

14 January 2015 8:20 AM, PST | Access Hollywood | See recent Access Hollywood news »

It's Sadie Hawkins dance time on ABC's "The Goldbergs."

Troy Gentile's Barry Goldberg is about to get a little closer with his teenage crush Lainey (Aj Michalka). But, like most things Goldbergs related, mom Beverly will be meddling (thanks to a little push from Erica).

"Erica does not want her best friend dating her brother by any means so my character goes and tries to get our mother involved, who is the matchmaker of the town, and so I try to hook Barry up with a girl and she happens to be a lot like Beverly," Hayley Orrantia, ...

Copyright 2015 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. »

- ( Editorial Staff)

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2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2005

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