The Sonoma International Film Festival starts tomorrow, offering a stellar line-up of cinema, food and wine— all in gorgeous Sonoma
This Wednesday, the curtain rises on the 16th annual Sonoma International Film Festival, pairing 5 nights and 4 days of nearly nonstop screenings— 105 new films from more than 30 countries— with great gourmet food and wine. Highly anticipated by its loyal film-savvy audience, who see an average of 5 or more films each, this festival takes place in eight venues within walking distance of Sonoma’s charming town square. Known for its laid back vibe and exceptional “back-lot” tent serving passholders the finest local wines and gourmet offerings, this sweet festival has a lot to offer both locals and destination visitors. Stay-tuned to ARThound for a full festival preview and individual reviews.
In addition to its special events—Opening Night, SONOMA SPOTLIGHT AWARD (honoring Mary-Louise Parker and actor Demián Bichir), and Closing Night—the festival offers 3 delightful art-related films that you will not be able to see elsewhere.
Dreamscapes (USA, France, Germany, 2011, 37 min) is Wolfram Hissen’s new documentary looking behind and beyond the canvasses of contemporary artist Stephen Hannock. The film, which has its West Coast premiere at SIFF, explores Hannock’s artistic process, following him from the opening of Northern City Renaissance (commissioned by Sting) to openings in Venice and New York to his studio in Williamstown, MA. Hannock’s commanding landscapes, often massive in scale, are brought to life through shots of him in process and through reflections of those who have followed his remarkable career.
In 2011, Hissen brought Christo & Jeanne-Claude: The Running Fence Revisited to SIFF. (Screens Thursday, April 11, 9:30 a.m., Burlingame Hall and Saturday, April 13, 2:45, Vintage House)
The Cover Story—Album Art (USA, 111 min): What would you give to hear Yoko Ono describe what provoked her to pose naked, front and back, with John Lennon for the cover of the now iconic “Two Virgins”? Mill Valley filmmaker Eric Christensen has that story and many more in his highly entertaining documentary which presents the untold stories behind some of the classic covers of the vinyl era. It’s really hard to get some of these famous musicians to reveal something that hasn’t been previously explored but talking about their album covers proved a magical and revelatory topic. Yoko Ono, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Bob Weir, Steve Earle, John Mellencamp, Sammy Hagar, Huey Lewis, Ray Manzarek of the Doors, Mark Volman of the Turtles, Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes, Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads, Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick. Those are just the people who appear in the first five minutes. Yoko Ono also discusses the cover for “Seasons of Glass,” which featured the bloody lenses removed from Lennon’s face the night he was shot to death. (Screens: Thursday, April 11 at 10:30 a.m., Murphy’s Pub and Saturday, April 13, 9 p.m., Vintage House)
Fat, Bald. Short Man (Gordo, calvo y bajito) (Spanish, English French, 2011, 91 min): Using bright primary colors and an innovative rotoscoping animation technique, where the faces of the real actors are bone white and in animated form, this clever and touching story is about a man in Bogotá who, audiences round the world have related to. Antonio lives a timid and gray life, one of pain and isolation, thinking that by being fat, short and bald there is no chance for him… until a man just like him, loved by everyone and very assertive, becomes his boss. Director Carlos Osuna, from Colombia, will lead a discussion afterwards. .(Screens Saturday, April 13, noon, Women’s Club)
VAMOS AL CINE PROGRAM: Last year, as a celebration of SIFF’s 15th anniversary, Claudia-Mendoza-Carruth organized “La Quinceañera Film Fiesta,” featuring the best of cinema “en español.” “La Q’s” success marked the fact that for the first time in Sonoma Valley, both Latino and film festival audiences enjoyed a selection of award-winning films from Mexico to Bolivia. This year’s “Vamos al Cine” program presents 9 films in Spanish with English subtitles from various Latin countries.
Details: the Sonoma International Film Festival runs April 10-14, 2013, in Sonoma, CA. Eight screening venues are all within walking distance of the central town plaza. Street parking is ample.
Ticket Information: SIFF offers several pass options, ranging from “One Day Movies Only” passes ($60) to VIP Star Passes ($900), offering the full festival experience—first entry to all films and panels, all receptions and after parties, VIP and industry mixer events, dinners, Gala and Awards ceremony. Individual tickets may also be purchased on a stand-by basis at the last minute for $15 cash at the screening venue. Detailed pass information at http://www.sonomafilmfest.org/film-festival-passes.html
All passes can be picked up at the festival Box Office located on the East side of City Hall on Sonoma Plaza beginning Wednesday, April 10 at 1:00 PM. The box office will be will be open 4/10 (1:00 – 9:00PM); 4/11-4/13 (9:00 AM – 9:00 PM) & 4/14 (9:00AM – 5:00 PM).
The full list of films is below or at www.sonomafilmfest.org.
Sebastiani Theatre – 476 First St. East
New Belgium Pub at The Woman’s Club – 574 First Street. East
Mia’s Kitchen at Sonoma Community Center – 276 E. Napa Street, Room 109
Murphy’s Irish Pub – 464 First Street East
Sebastiani Winery Barrel Room – 389 Fourth Street East
Sonoma Valley Museum of Art – 551 Broadway
Sonoma Veteran’s Memorial Hall – 126 First Street West
Vintage House– 264 First Street East