The 26th annual Sonoma International Film Festival opens March 22 with the world premiere of Jules, starring Ben Kingsley, who is expected to attend, and closes five days later with the West Coast premier of The Eight Mountains, a Cannes jury prize-winner (above). In between, 110 films from 32 countries, more than 100 filmmakers and distinguished industry guests in full mingle mode, themed parties, wine, movie-food events with chefs Martin Yan and Joanne Weir, an insiders’ gossip sesh, awards brunch, surprise guests, and lots more.
When the director says “Action,” she means it. Like, say, the GAY-LA Disco Party on the 23rd.
“Artistic Director Carl Spence’s deep festival experience and longtime relationships give the Festival access to new films, industry decision-makers, and talent,” said Executive Director Ginny Krieger. “Sonoma as a destination festival also provides a welcoming and entertaining experience for filmmakers and industry guests; and festival goers are astute, enthusiastic cinephiles, and provide vital audience feedback for our visiting filmmakers.”
Adds Spence, “For my first edition at the Sonoma International Film Festival, with a new curatorial team in place, we aimed to find films from around the world that excite us and that we love,” said Artistic Director Carl Spence. “In our search, we found both the awe-inspiring and sublime, as well as entertaining box office hits from other countries.”
Absent from the marquee is Kevin McNeely, longtime festival impresario. Other changes: the films will play at four venues including Prime Cinemas in Fiesta Plaza; shows will go on there despite Saturday’s announcement that the multiplex will close on April 2.
There won’t be a tented festival-slash-party headquarters this year. The Sonoma Veterans Building on First Street West will serve that function, along with, for the first time, a retail box office in a downtown storefront location on West Napa Street.
Individual tickets and festival passes available. Find all info at Sonomafilmfest.org
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