Since 1997, the Sonoma Valley Film Festival has been recognizing the best films from around the world. Located in the beautiful wine country of northern California the multi-day festival showcases more than 90 acclaimed films and his host to celebrities such as Bruce Willis, Danny Glover and John Waters.
Focusing on smaller independent films, the festival is a boon for up-and-coming or unrecognized directors. Past winners include Nick Stagliano (2011 for Good Day For It), Luis Mandoki (2005 for Voces Inocentes), and Beth Murphy (2008 for Beyond Belief). Best performances for actors and actresses have been awarded to Ethan Peck (2009 for Adopt a Sailor) and Mira Sorvino (2009 for Like Dandelion Dust).
Many films featured at the first featured at the festival have gone on to box office acclaim, such as The 500 Days of Summer, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead and Bhutto. International films also have a large presence during the event.
Held in April, the festival draws upward of 18,000 attendees and features local food and wine as well as the films. In addition to the film screenings there are also panel sessions hosted by industry experts to discuss the current trends in the film world.