Wine Country Film Fest gets revamped
The Wine Country Film Festival celebrates its 25th season with a new name, new venues and new programs. Re-branded as the Santa Rosa International Film Festival, the event takes place Sept. 14 to 20 around Santa Rosa, with a few events at Deerfield Ranch Winery in Kenwood.
"It's all about cultural diversity and building community - it's like riding a wonderful cinematic wave that never stops," said Justine Ashton, co-founder of Sonoma County's original and longest running film festival.
Known since 1986 as the Wine Country Film Festival, the festival moved between venues in Napa and Sonoma counties, showcasing inspiring movies and tributes honoring individuals for their careers in cinema, the arts, the environment and for their contributions to humanity, including Kirk Douglas, Gregory Peck, Martin Sheen and Nobel Peace Laureates Jody Williams and Jose Ramos Horta.
"We can't drop Wine Country Film Festival from the new name because WCFF is known throughout the world. WCFF has received high praise from the entertainment world for the past 24 years," said Ashton. "Beneficiaries this year are the music program at Valley of the Moon Children's Home and two scholarships for college bound Sonoma Valley High School students."
The Santa Rosa International Film Festival (SRIFF-WCFF) begins with a Launch Party on Friday, Sept. 9, at the festival's Hospitality Lounge in downtown Santa Rosa. Proclamations will be read, special film presentations will be announced, there will be music, drinks, hors d'eouvres and a chance to mingle and mix with sponsors, local filmmakers and special guests. Five Sonoma County artists who have created a new program for the festival - Art and Cinema: A Duet Dialogue - will present their original art inspired by a film that will be in the program.
The film festival returns to Deerfield Ranch Winery in Kenwood, where films screen inside the cave's grand room and outside under the stars.
Live performances are slated for every night and food for purchase is provided by food trucks such as Street-Eatz, Dim Sum Charlies and Maxwell's Silver Blimp and restaurants including Yeti, Doce Lunas and the Community Cafe. The winery will sell wine by the glass or bottle.
The festival has six passes for sale. The most popular is the Local Pass exclusively for Sonoma, Glen Ellen, Kenwood, Oakmont and Santa Rosa residents for $100.
The Hospitality Lounge is located at 1 Santa Rosa Ave., and offers happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday for pass-holders.
To order a pass or to get further information call the office 935-3456.