Napa Valley Film Festival!

Jimmy called me on his way home from work one day to inform me that he had won something on the radio. As a past radio prize winner, I was so excited! It’s not the prize but the winning that brings such a rush. (think: A Christmas Story movie and the leg lamp, “It’s a major award!”) So when my sweet husband shared with me what the token he’d won was, my excitement grew. Tickets to the Napa Valley Film Festival!!!

Being a passholder for this event gave us many perks… unfortunately, most of the perks were wine related. That, however, did not deter our fun. Jimmy and I planned our day of screenings like kids making a Christmas list. Many a title was crossed off for better, more shiny option. We ended up with a screening schedule like this:

9:00 am- shorts collection

1:00 pm- Among Us (a Swedish film)

4:00 pm- Becoming Santa (documentary)

7:00 pm- Hammer (narrative)

We tried to have a broad range of films, which turned out to be a wise decision. The shorts collection was inspiring, disturbing, thought provoking, interesting and funny. Each film was no longer than 20 minutes. With 20 minutes to tell a story, a writer must be precise and decisive with the plot. My favorite of the set was “Angels”. Not only did we enjoy the shorts, but all the directors and actors were at the screening Jimmy and I chose to attend. After the films, the film makers took part in a q&a with the audience. It was amazing! I even got a picture with the director/writer of my favorite short film!

After the shorts, we drove up to the Cameo cinema to see a foreign film. Our consensus:

good acting, good premise, terrible story- there was no arc and we knew the ending far before the movie was over. With actors so excellent, I felt bad that their characters were given so little room to grow. Good news is that there were plenty of concessions to keep our mind off the not so great film.

Following the foreign film, Jimmy and I attended a screening at the Napa Valley Opera House. SO AWESOME! The film was a documentary following a man that dyed his hair and beard, went to Santa school and spent a season experiencing being Santa. The film was sweet and funny. It also was so tender and poignant. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Plus, we got to do a q&a with the director. By far the best q&a!!!

Hammer was the last film we watched. AMAZING true story of a deaf wrestler that moved on to become a ultimate fighting champion. What I liked most is that each actor playing a deaf person in the movie is deaf in real life. The way the movie was written and filmed really gave me the sense of what it might be like to be deaf in a hearing world. Plus, any movie always scores bonus points for me when they do an "update" during the credits. I loved seeing what everyone from the movie is doing now.

In between all the movies, we went to Bistro Sabor- YUM! double yum! Duck tacos with orange compote and coconut mushroom clam chowder kept my rumbly tumbly soooo happy! We are planning on buying passes for next year because we had so much fun!

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