The Napa Film Fest Goes on, Despite the Fires

At the Napa Valley Film Festival

At the Napa Valley Film Festival (Photo: Courtesy of Napa Valley Film Festival)

Since 2009, Brenda and Marc Lhormer have built the four-day Napa Valley Film Festival with the offer of good times, good food, and good wine to filmmakers and actors, and a mission to present the very best independent films of the year. “We tell people, ‘Open at Sundance and finish the festival season at Napa,'” Brenda Lhormer tells me by phone. But this year, the North Bay fires hit just as festival  preparations were kicking into high gear. “All of us left town,” Lhormer says, “and some of our seasonal staff lost their homes, so there were two days of frantic texting.”

Courtesy of Napa Valley Film Festival
A scene from the Napa Valley Film Festival in 2016 (Photo: Courtesy of Napa Valley Film Festival)

As the smoke cleared, the staff gathered to decide whether to go ahead with the festival. “And we sat around the table, lots of tears in our eyes,” Lhormer said. “And we all went around the table one by one, and said, we think the community is going to need this more than ever. So then we took the next two days and emailed everyone, and every single one of our partners and venues were fine. And we took a big sigh, and we said, ‘We’ve got to do this.'”

Lhormer says there were lots of cancellations from out-of-town attendees, so the festival is depending on Bay Area residents to pick up the slack. Ten percent of all proceeds will go to fire relief, and the festival is donating 1,000 tickets to those who’ve lost their homes. Details here.

 

The Napa Film Fest Goes on, Despite the Fires 1 November,2017Cy Musiker

Author

Cy Musiker

Cy Musiker co-hosts The Do List and covers the arts for KQED News and The California Report.  He loves live performance, especially great theater, jazz, roots music, anything by Mahler. Cy has an MJ from UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism, and got his BA from Hampshire College. His work has been recognized by the Society for Professional Journalists with their Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service in Journalism. When he can, Cy likes to swim in Tomales Bay, run with his dog in the East Bay Hills, and hike the Sierra.

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