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Sonoma International Film Festival


The Sonoma International Film Festival is considerd one of the nation's top ten destination film festivals.  All seven screning venues are withinh walking distance of the historic Sonoma Plaza.  This is one of the most filmmaker-friendly festivals where accommdations are provided thoughout your festival expderience and industry networking leads to distribution.  Enjoy a remarkable five day, stimulating festival in the midst of Sonoma wine country.  We do celebrate the very best in film, food & wine!

Set amidst the unparalleled beauty of the Sonoma Valley wine country, the Annual Sonoma International Film Festival welcomes filmakers and film lovers in April every year to a sun-drenched, luxurious extended weekend, pairing great food, fine wine and more than 100 new independent films from around the world. Film presentations at a variety of venues including the historic Sebastiani Theater on the Sonoma Town Plaza will include: world cinema, feature length narratives, documentaries, shorts and a student film program.


22nd Annual Sonoma International Film Festival (SIFF) Awards

 The 2019 Sonoma International Film Festival (SIFF) kicked off 22 years of film, food, wine, and spirits with the announcement that it was named the #8 film festival in the country, and the only California festival, in a USA TODAY readers poll released on March 22. SIFF showcased 123 films from 24 countries from Wednesday, March 27 - Sunday, March 31, 2019 at intimate venues, all walkable from Sonoma Plaza.


“In many ways, it was the best film festival ever,” said Festival Executive Director Kevin McNeely. “We could not have done it without our record attendance, dedicated sponsors and our over 300 invaluable volunteers. SIFF22 also welcomed an unprecedented number of filmmakers - 224 from 24 countries, the most we’ve ever hosted. Their movies introduced us to different languages, customs, and cultures, which is a testament to our diverse group of filmmakers.  Our special event dinners were superb and featured our world-class Northern California wineries, chefs and food purveyors, and the SIFF Backlot Tent parties were out of this world.  Be sure to join us for another “Only in Sonomawood” festival next year March 25-29, 2020!”


Highlights from the top curated festival included celebrity appearances and Q&A discussions with Julia Ormond (Actor), Rachael Taylor (Actor) and Allanah Zitserman (Producer) at the Opening Night Film, LADIES IN BLACK, at the Sebastiani Theatre; and Thomas Kretschmann (The PIANIST) of BALLOON, who was sighted in the spirited SIFF Backlot Tent.


In its second year, the sold out SIFF|Devour! Chefs & Shorts dinner at Ramekins Culinary School, Events & Inn, featured Devour! Founder and Chef Michael Howell, along with Chef Eduardo Garcia (subject of the SIFF22 selected film CHARGED).  Local Sonoma Chefs Marcellus Coleman (Fairmount Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa), and Cole Dickinson (MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa), joined noted Pastry Chefs Michelle Gayer (Salty Tart) and Della Gossett (Spago’s) to round out this blockbuster group of culinary experts.


In another first, Chef Tyler Florence’s debut film UNCRUSHABLE, about the North Bay wildfires, screened at a special dinner created by Florence featuring Sonoma and Napa wines and his signature food.


Jury Awards:


Best Animation: Lost and Found

Best Comedy: Destination F(#*%!)

Best Director: Julia Blue

Best Documentary: The Woman Who Loves Giraffes

Best Documentary--Honorable Mention: Charged

Best Documentary Short: Montage, The Great Film Composers & the Piano

Best Drama: Watch Room

Best Foreign: Restaurant from the Sky

Best Foreign Short: La Perdida (The Loss)

Best Foreign Short--Honorable Mention: Pinky Promise

Best U.S. Indie: Collisions


The list of accomplished jury members for this year’s festival included casting director Ferne Cassel (DIE HARD, COMING TO AMERICA, ROADHOUSE, DICK TRACY), Courtney Sexton (Vice President of CNN Films), powerhouse film distributor Adeline Monzier, Michele Maheux (Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Toronto International Film Festival), Bart Walker (partner at ICM Partners), cinematographer John Bailey (GROUNDHOG DAY, AS GOOD AS IT GETS, HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS, MUST LOVE DOGS), Bill Keith (Deputy Editor of Entertainment Weekly), award winning producer Tom Davia (ARE WE NOT CATS, LA GRANJA), and actress Angela Sarafyan (THE INFORMERS, A BEAUTIFUL LIFE, THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN – PART 2, WESTWORLD).


Audience Awards:


Best Animated Short: Tweet-Tweet

Best Comedy Short: Destination F(#*%!)

Best Documentary Short: My Paintbrush Bites

Best Dramatic Short: Giltrude's Dwelling

Best Foreign Short: La Perdida (The Loss)

The A3 Audience Award for Best Documentary, which includes a $1,000 cash prize: The Woman Who Loves Giraffes

The Stolman Audience Award for Best American Independent Feature, which includes a $1,000 cash prize: July Rising

SIFF Audience Award for Best Foreign Feature, which includes a $1,000 cash prize: Balloon


Sonoma International Film Festival Wine Awards:


Sparkling Wine: Gloria Ferrer 2010 Anniversary Cuvee, Estate Grown, Carneros - $45

SIFF Awards: Gold & Best of Class / 93 POINTS


Aromatic White Wine: Anaba 2016 Turbine White Rhone Blend, Sonoma Valley - $32

SIFF Awards: Gold & Best of Class / 94 POINTS


Chardonnay: Chappellet 2017 Chardonnay, Grower Collection, Sangiacomo Vineyard, Carneros - $45

SIFF Awards: Gold & Best of Class / 95 POINTS


Pink Wine: Anaba 2018 Rose of Grenache, Sonoma Valley

SIFF Awards: Gold & Best of Class / 93 POINTS


Pinot Noir: Buena Vista 2016 Pinot Noir, Bela’s Selection, Russian River Valley - $50

SIFF Awards: Gold & Best of Class / 95 POINTS


Red Blend: Idell Family 2014 Oscar Mixed Blacks, Sonoma Valley - $39 

SIFF Awards: Gold & Best of Class / 95 POINTS


Zinfandel: Deerfield 2013 Zinfandel Reserve, Old Vines, Ivy Glen Vineyard, Sonoma Valley - $85

SIFF Awards: Gold & Best of Class / 94 POINTS


Cabernet Sauvignon: Arrowood 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley - $40

SIFF Awards: Gold & Best of Class / 94 POINTS


Dessert Wine: Ledson 2014 Late Harvest Zinfandel, Sweet Ida May, Redwood Valley - $50

SIFF Awards: Double Gold & Best of Class / 96 POINTS


Port: Deerfield NV Syrah Tawny, Estate Grown, Sonoma Valley - $50 (375 ml)

SIFF Awards: Gold & Best of Class / 94 POINTS

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