NVFF presents an entertaining and thought-provoking program of 120 films for our audiences to enjoy and discuss. The program includes new independent films in competition for both Juried and Audience Awards, and sneak previews of films slated for holiday season theatrical releases and aiming for Golden Globes and Academy Awards. Over 300 filmmakers (writers, directors, actors and producers) and industry executives present their films and help us understand the rapidly evolving entertainment industry.

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U.S. Narrative Feature Competition and Artists in Residence Program (Sponsored by Meadowood Napa Valley Resort & Spa), The Lounge (Features), Special Presentations


U.S. Documentary Feature Competition and Artists in Residence Program (Sponsored by Meadowood Napa Valley Resort & Spa), The Lounge (Features), Special Presentations


Narrative Shorts Program, The Lounge (Shorts), Special Presentations


Documentary Shorts Program, The Lounge (Shorts), Special Presentations


Short Features only

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Competition Program

NVFF’s competition program is organized into sections: Narrative Features, Documentary Features, The Lounge (our alternative program of edgier and wackier features and shorts), Narrative Shorts, Documentary Shorts, Short Features (films 20-50 minutes in length), and Special Presentations.

Films in competition are selected from over 1000 submissions, with our programming team choosing films for the quality of their production and the compelling nature of their story lines. At the festival, audience members rate each screening and performance, while professional jury members confer on the prestigious jury awards. At NVFF’s Awards Ceremony, winners of both audience and juried awards are presented with 3-liter collectible bottles of some of Napa Valley’s finest wines. Check back in September for a list of this year’s jurors, along with a complete list of this year’s films and screening schedule.

Film Schedule & Screening Venues

Competition films play three or more times, with a great proportion of the program playing four times, once in each of our four festival villages. This makes it easier for you to pick your favorite village and venues and let the festival come to you. We also recommend sampling our different venues and villages on different days. What we don’t recommend is racing up and down the valley from one screening to the next; that tends to not pair very well with the wine. Festival responsibly!

NVFF presents films in an eclectic mix of a dozen or more screening venues clustered in and around Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga. Only one is a year round movie theater, the 104 year-old Cameo Cinema, a delightful jewel box anchoring St. Helena’s Main Street. Other venues include winery barrel rooms, an airplane hanger at the old Gliderport in Calistoga, various meeting halls and performing arts facilities, and Napa’s former movie palace – the Uptown Theatre – now serving primarily as a home for live music and comedy shows.

Seating capacity ranges from super intimate at just under 100 to over 1200 at Lincoln Theater where we hold high-profile screenings and special events including the Celebrity Tributes, Awards Ceremony and Festival Gala.

Notable Awards Season Screenings

Each year’s NVFF includes exclusive screenings of films with aspirations for Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations. Several of scored nominations and taken home the grand prizes. Films featured through NVFF’s first years have included


NVFF offers our both our artists and audiences additional opportunities to interact with and learn from each other. These include our unique Artists-in-Residence Program in partnership with the incomparable Meadowood Napa Valley; Industry Panels providing insights into the inner workings of the film industry; a lively Pitch Competition open to anyone with a great idea for a new movie or TV series; and Tributes to established filmmakers and rising stars. Check back in September for a list of this year’s faculty and honorees.

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