Here’s a peek into what screened at this year’s Napa Valley Film Festival.
Viggo Mortensen stars as a recently widowed father raising his family deep in the wilderness of Washington. This beautifully shot film is a touching and unique look at parenting. The film was directed and written by Matt Ross, the actor who plays Gavin Belson on Silicon Valley– one of my FAVORITE shows.
Dev Patel stars as the adult version of Saroo Brierley, a lost Indian child who was adopted into an Australian family at age 6. Always thinking about his birth family back in India, in this true story Patel uses modern technology like Google Earth to try to find his way back home. Read about the opening nightpanel and Q&A here.
Honored with the the Caldwell Vineyard Maverick Actor Tribute at the festival, Matthew McConaughey premiered his new film Gold which is released this Christmas. On stage, McConaughey told the audience about his conscience decision to move away from caring about the success of his films toward looking for roles that ensured he enjoyed the filmmaking process and pushed himself. Read my interview with him from the red carpet. (That’s us talking in this photo!)
Folk Hero & Funny Guy
The Russell family had plenty to celebrate at the festival. Kurt Russell was honored as a Legendary Actor during the Celebrity Tribute and son, Wyatt, joined his girlfriend and costar Meredith Hagner whose film, Folk Hero & Funny Guy, took home the award for Best Ensemble Cast.
All We Had
Katie Holmes directed and starred in this story of a mother and teenage daughter who move to a small midwestern town during the 2008 financial crisis. Kind of sounds like when Katie brought Suri back to her hometown of Toledo, Ohio after her split from Tom Cruise.
Lexus Short Films
Lexus and the Weinstein Company premieres the 4 short films shot this past year as part of the partnership to encourage aspiring filmmakers worldwide. My favorite was Friday Night by Alexis Michalik, although I was surprised to learn that the French filmmaker views terrorist attacks, like one portrayed in his film, as “lone wolf” attacks.