Sonoma International Film Festival passes are on sale now and prices will increase on Monday, March 17, 2014
If you love cinema, world class food and wine from local artisans and vintners, and the breathtaking beauty of the wine country, it doesn’t get any better than the Sonoma International Film Festival (SIFF). Discounted passes are now on sale for the 17th annual SIFF—April 2-6, 2014. Lock in your passes now, as the prices rise considerably on Monday, March 17, 2014.
This year, SIFF features over 115 hand-selected films from 22 countries—features, documentaries, world cinema, Vamos Al Cine (showcasing Spanish-language film), and shorts. Two hundred filmmakers and celebrities will attend and participate in premieres, Q&A’s an panel discussions. Guests, celebs and attendees all mingle on the square and in Backlot, SIFF’s decadent den of epicurean delights. Film luminaries who have walked SIFF’s red carpet include: Susan Sarandon, Bruce Willis, Michael Keaton, Blythe Danner, Danny Glover, Lauren Hutton, Demian Bichir, Ray Liotta and Mary-Louise Parker. This year’s special guests have yet to be announced.
The line-up, of which we have just a few details, includes 62 full length features films, all selected by Festival Director Kevin McNeely and his programmers Claudia Mendoza-Carruth and Steve Shor, who know exactly what appeals to the savvy audience of this extended weekend fest. For the first time, SIFF17 welcomes a film from Nigeria, director Biyi Bandele’s acclaimed Half of a Yellow Sun, an adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s bestselling novel of the same name. This year’s Vamos Al Cine program, which began as programming for the Spanish speaking community but has morphed into one of the festival’s biggest draws, will focus on Cuban cinema with Cuban director and actor, Jorge Perugorria, attending. And dog lover ARThound is excited about this year’s special programming for children (and the young at heart) and the guest appearance of the amazing Olate dogs (winner of America’s Got Talent 2012 and $1 million. These joyful dogs will perform at the historic Sebastiani Theatre in a special morning that includes the world premiere of Peter McEvilley’s French short, Le Sauvetage—which features Peter Olate’s rescue dogs and addresses animal welfare—and a live musical performance by members of “Everybody is a Star.” This year, there are an unprecedented 24 documentaries, many of which unpack our increasingly confusing organic and green lifestyle and impart groundbreaking research on the health and environmental impacts of plastic, fracking and hemp. One of these, Wings of Life, a new Disneynature film, narrated by Meryl Streep, uses incredible cinematography, high-seed, time-lapse and micro filmmaking techniques to reveal the extraordinary importance of flowers and their pollinator partners. And for foodies, three world cinema offerings explore the fusion of storytelling, fine cuisine and restaurants.
All films are screened in seven intimate venues, all within walking distance along Sonoma’s historic plaza. Many screenings include delectable gourmet samplings. The SIFF ambiance is laid-back and the experience is unforgettable…that’s why most guests return year after year. And it’s for a great cause— since 2002, SIFF and its members have continually supported Sonoma Valley High School’s Media Arts Program. This student program opens doorways to creativity in the digital arts through filmmaking classes, animation, scriptwriting, film theory, and – most of all – storytelling. So far this year, SIFF has donated $25,000 to Peter Hansen’s media arts program at SVHS, having given almost $450,000 over the past 12 years.
Cinema Pass—$175* – All Films & Panels (*Price increases to $250 on March 17, 2014)
Cinema Soiree Pass —$450* First Entry to films, VIP hospitality area, tribute, parties & receptions & “First Look.” (*Price increases to $600 on March 17, 2014)
Patron Pass/All Access—single $2,500; couple $4,000