5th Annual

Napa Valley Film Festival

November 11, 2015 to November 15, 2015

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Film Market
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PO Box 10994
Napa CA 94581
Phone: 707.226.7500

CLOSED FOR THE SEASON • Information may be outdated. Add this event to your Watch List and set a Remind-Me if you want to be notified when the next Call For Entries is posted.

Narrative Feature Competition, sponsored by Meadowood Napa Valley
This competition category is a centerpiece of each year’s festival program, with films vying for both juried and audience awards. The selection consists of narrative feature films, 50+ minutes in length, originating from the U.S. Directors of the selected Competition films take part in NVFF's unique Artists-in-Residence (AIR) program, presented in partnership with the world-class Meadowood Napa Valley Resort & Spa. Participating filmmakers form a tight-knit community and connect with industry mentors through small group sessions as well as 1-1s. Meadowood provides luxury accommodations and meeting facilities. Additionally, Meadowood also underwrites the $10,000 cash prize awarded to the director of the film selected by our jury as Best U.S. Narrative Feature. The AIR program runs from Tuesday afternoon’s welcome wine reception (November 10, 2015) through Sunday evening’s Awards Ceremony and Wrap Party (November 15, 2015). The films in competition and the filmmaking Artists-in-Residence are a major focus of NVFF’s media and marketing campaigns each season. Directors accepted into the program are expected to participate in full. They are also encouraged to bring along filmmaking collaborators, talent, and significant others. NVFF is not able to guarantee travel assistance and/or accommodations for other members of filmmaking teams, but each year we do the best we can with any available resources. NOTE, due to the highly exclusive nature of this program, films in this category must be making their Northern California festival premieres in order to be considered.
Documentary Feature Competition, sponsored by Meadowood Napa Valley
A documentary film 50+ minutes in length, originating in the U.S.

U.S. Documentary Features are selected for various screening sections at the festival, including the U.S. Documentary Features Competition. Directors of the films selected for the Competition participate in NVFF's unique Artists-in-Residence (AIR) program in partnership with the world-class Meadowood Napa Valley resort. Luxury accommodations and program meeting facilities are provided by Meadowood. Meadowood also sponsors the $10,000 prize awarded to the director of the film selected by our jury as Best U.S. Documentary Feature. The AIR program runs from Tuesday afternoon’s welcome wine reception (November 10, 2015) through Sunday evening’s Awards Ceremony and Wrap Party (November 15, 2015). Directors accepted into the program are expected to participate in full.

U.S. Documentary Feature films may also be selected for inclusion in the festival in other, non-competitive sections.
Narrative Short Films
Narrative Short films must be under 20 minutes in length, set in live action, and may be submitted from anywhere in the world.
Documentary Short Films
Live action Documentary Short films under 20 minutes in length and originating from the U.S.
Please enter animated short films in the separate Animated Short films category.
Special Screenings
Films entered in this category must be at least 50 minutes in length and originate from outside the U.S. World Cinema films at NVFF are eligible for audience awards.
The Lounge
The Lounge Program is named for its unique screening venue and quirky atmosphere. It is the ultimate hub for edgier, offbeat, and eclectic films at NVFF. A festival favorite, The Lounge consistently boasts a popular lineup of extraordinary narrative and documentary films.
Animated Short Films
Films entered in this category must be under 20 minutes in length and contain a significant amount of animation.

Entry through WAB must take place by the final deadline of June 30, 2015, and completed films must be received by NVFF by July 31, 2015.

Short Feature
Live action narrative or documentary short feature films between 20-49 minutes in length, originating from the U.S. or abroad.

For those films that are just more than a short but not quite a feature.


The Napa Valley Film Festival showcases the best in new independent filmmaking, world cinema and animation and works to build community around the art of visual storytelling. Film screenings and discussions with filmmakers are accompanied by the world-class food and wine of legendary Napa Valley, fueling lively conversations with old and new friends.


The Napa Valley Film Festival takes place November 11-15. The festival runs from Wednesday through Sunday – what we like to refer to as an extended weekend, the best kind.

Each year’s festival includes the following core components:

- 125 or so new films
- 250+ visiting filmmakers and industry executives
- A handful of sneak preview premieres of Oscar-worthy end-of-year studio releases
- Tribute(s) to notable film industry figures
- Juried and Audience Awards in a variety of categories, including the $10,000 Meadowood Best Narrative Feature award and $10,000 Meadowood Best Documentary Feature award
- Screening venues clustered in walkable Festival Villages in the towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga
- Food & Wine-Tasting Pavilions in each Festival Village

Film Program

NVFF welcomes films of all genres including narrative features, documentaries, world cinema, short films, animation, and student works. Organizers are looking for films that entertain, inspire, educate and uplift audiences. NVFF also features a selection of bold, boundary-pushing, edgier films in a dedicated venue called The Lounge.

NVFF screens most films multiple times and in different festival villages so visiting filmmakers can experience the variety within the Napa Valley, and so our film-loving audiences can enjoy films, food and wine in each village.

At the conclusion of the festival on Sunday night winning filmmakers are presented with Juried and Audience Awards at a fun and fast-paced Awards Ceremony, followed by a celebratory Wrap Party.

Food & Wine

What better to accompany conversation about riveting films than the world-class food and wine of legendary Napa Valley? Unique elements of the Napa Valley Film Festival experience include:

- Wine-tasting pavilions in four distinct festival villages
- Food and wine-tasting at select screening venues to enjoy before (and in some cases after) each screening
- An array of unique epicurean experiences for VIP guests


Brenda Lhormer (Co-Director); Carrie Markham (Administrative Director); Marc Lhormer (Executive & Artistic Director); Whitney Haskin (Program Coordinator)


Submission Date:
Entries must be postmarked by the appropriate tiered deadline to be considered for inclusion in the festival. Submissions postmarked after June 20, 2015 will not be considered.

Completion Date:
Films must have been completed no earlier than January 2014.

Exhibition Formats:
The NVFF operates 12-14 individual screening venues. Acceptable exhibition formats vary by venue and may include (but are not necessarily limited to) HDCam, DCP, and Blu Ray disc. The festival requests DVD and/or Blu Ray disc back up copies to accompany all exhibition formats. By entering your film you agree to work with NVFF to provide compatible exhibition format(s) and back ups.

Foreign language films must be made available with English subtitles.

Prior Screenings:
NVFF does not require premiere status. Entries may not be televised or widely available online before November 1, 2015.

Distribution Status:
Films with U.S. distribution may be considered but are not eligible for competition. NVFF does not pay screening fees for films.

Support Materials:
Accepted films are requested to provide an electronic press kit including:
Production still photos – images that accurately represent the look of the film (NOT on set photos)
Director’s photo and biography/filmography
Director’s statement
Credits list
All photos should be print-quality (300dpi) files.

Shipping Costs:
Submitters of accepted films agree to pay for shipping the exhibition copy of their film to NVFF to arrive to the festival office at least one week prior to the start of the festival, or by the date requested by the NVFF technical team (whichever is earlier). NVFF covers return shipping of accepted films’ exhibition copies and back up materials only. NVFF pays for international return shipping for World Cinema films only.

Awards include:
Juried Awards:
Meadowood Best U.S. Narrative Feature, with a cash prize of $10,000
Meadowood Best U.S. Documentary Feature, with a cash prize of $10,000
Best Ensemble Cast
Best U.S. Documentary Short Film
Best U.S. Narrative Short Film
Best Animated Short Film

Audience Awards:
Favorite U.S. Narrative Feature
Favorite U.S. Documentary Feature
Favorite U.S. Documentary Short Film
Favorite U.S. Narrative Short Film
Favorite Animated Short Film
Favorite World Cinema Short
Favorite World Cinema Feature (Narrative or Documentary)
Favorite Lounge Feature (Narrative or Documentary) – presented to the highest rated film screening in The Lounge, the NVFF’s venue for films that take chances and operate outside the box.


By submitting your film for consideration to the 2015 Napa Valley Film Festival, you are telling us that you have full authority to do so, that the film is cleared for potential festival exhibition, and that you accept full legal responsibility for the intellectual property therein.

Submitting your film to us constitutes permission to exhibit your work at the 2015 Napa Valley Film Festival. If your film is accepted to be part of the program, you will do your best to work with us to have the film’s director and other key personnel (actors, writers, producers, etc) attending the festival to present the film and interact with the Napa audience.

The Napa Valley Film Festival is also hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.

You shall also indemnify and hold harmless the Napa Valley Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.