The Napa Valley Film Festival showcases an outstanding presentation of independent filmmaking, while also building a strong sense of community around the art of visual storytelling. Film screenings and networking events are accompanied by the world-class food and wine of stunning Napa Valley, fueling lively conversations among artists and audiences. This annual festival is put on each year by Cinema Napa Valley, a 501c3 non-profit organization which holds year-round events to enrich the local community and educate the aspiring filmmakers of tomorrow.

The 9th Annual Napa Valley Film Festival takes place November 13-17, 2019. NVFF features a variety of unique screening venues clustered throughout the Napa Valley. In addition to our standout Industry Mixer and fabulous Festival Gala, food and wine events are dispersed throughout the festival, ranging from afternoon wine-tasting receptions and culinary demonstrations to winemaker dinners and an array of parties. The festival boasts up to 100 new independent films, accompanied by sneak peeks of studio releases. NVFF strives to seamlessly fuse the craftsmanship of food and wine with the world of cinematic arts.

Visiting filmmakers have the opportunity to present their films multiple times and in different locations in order to experience the unique character and variety of the Napa Valley. This also permits our film-loving audiences to enjoy as many screenings as possible between sampling the wonderful food and wine available throughout the Napa Valley Film Festival.

NVFF welcomes films of various genres and lengths. Programmers are looking for generally uplifting films that entertain, inspire, enlighten, and captivate audiences. NVFF also features an edgier selection of films in Verge. The categories your film may be considered for are detailed in the next section.

The directors of the Narrative and Documentary Feature films within NVFF's core competitions are also invited to partake in a unique Artists-in-Residence Program presented in partnership with the incomparable Meadowood Napa Valley. These filmmakers will attend a multitude of intimate networking events as well as a workshop and panel series. Meadowood also sponsors twin $10,000 cash prizes awarded by the Jury for Best Narrative and Best Documentary Feature. Films in these programs must be feature length U.S. productions and Northern California premieres. These films are also up for both Juried & Audience Awards. Directors of films in the core competitions must be able to commit to attending the full festival.

The Verge category consists of an eclectic assortment of feature length films. Programmers seek bold, boundary-pushing, and innovative films to fulfill this section of the NVFF program. Films in this category come from all over the world and are up for Juried and Audience Awards.

Short films in these categories may be domestic or international productions and are up for both Juried & Audience Awards.

This category features international and domestic films portraying a wide variety of niche interest films that revolve around topics such as art, music, culture, or food. The program topics change yearly. Films in this category may be feature length or short films and are up for Audience Awards ONLY.

Best U.S. Narrative Feature
Best U.S. Documentary Feature
Best Ensemble Cast
Best Screenplay
Best Documentary Short Film
Best Narrative Short Film
Best Verge Film
Best Lounge Short Film
Special Jury Award(s)
Favorite Narrative Feature
Favorite Documentary Feature
Favorite Documentary Short Film
Favorite Narrative Short Film
Favorite Actor
Favorite Actress

Completion Date:
Films must have been completed no earlier than January 2018.

Exhibition Formats:
The NVFF operates up to 10 individual screening venues. Acceptable exhibition formats vary by venue and may include (but are not necessarily limited to) DCP and Blu Ray disc. The festival requests DVD and/or Blu Ray disc back up copies to accompany all exhibition formats. By entering your film you agree to work with NVFF to provide compatible exhibition format(s) and back ups.

Foreign language films must be made available with English subtitles.

Prior Screenings:
NVFF does not require premiere status. Entries may not be televised or widely available online before November 18, 2019.

Distribution Status:
Films with U.S. distribution may be considered but are not eligible for the core feature competition. NVFF does not pay screening fees for films.

Support Materials:
Accepted films are requested to provide an electronic press kit including:
- Production still photos, images that accurately represent the look of the film (NOT on set photos)
- Director’s photo and biography/filmography
- Director’s statement
- Credits list
- All photos should be print-quality (300dpi) files.

Shipping Costs:
Submitters of accepted films agree to pay for shipping the exhibition copy of their film to NVFF to arrive to the festival office at least two weeks prior to the start of the festival, or by the date requested by the NVFF technical team (whichever is earlier). NVFF covers return shipping of accepted films’ exhibition copies and back up materials only. NVFF does not return marketing materials such as posters or postcards after the conclusion of the festival.

*NVFF does not provide feedback for films that are not selected for the 2019 program.

By submitting your film for consideration to the 2019 Napa Valley Film Festival, you are telling us that you have full authority to do so, that the film is cleared for potential festival exhibition, and that you accept full legal responsibility for the intellectual property therein. Submitting your film to us constitutes permission to exhibit your work at the 2019 Napa Valley Film Festival. If your film is accepted to be part of the program, you will do your best to work with us to have the film’s director and other key personnel (actors, writers, producers, etc) attending the festival to present the film and interact with the Napa audience. The Napa Valley Film Festival is also hereby granted the right to utilize an excerpt from any film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes. You shall also indemnify and hold harmless the Napa Valley Film Festival from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.

Overall Rating
  • Thiago Dadalt

    Great Festival, always fun, Can't wait to come back :)

    July 2019
  • Lynn Hamrick

    This festival is top flight on EVERY LEVEL. The hospitality and the food, drink, and level of programming is unsurpassed. I truly mean it. It was beyond our expectations.

    April 2019
  • Hands down the BEST festival out there!!! Such great films and hospitality! I will be making movies just so I can keep going to Napa! ;-)

    March 2019
  • Kelly Tatham

    Napa was a dream! They took excellent care of the filmmakers. I made incredible connections and met so many amazing people, and the food & drink was fabulous. I sincerely can't recommend it highly enough.

    March 2019
  • Tim Nackashi

    The Napa Valley Film Festival has a lot of heart. I loved this one. Every screening had lots of energy. Great Q&A's. And the feeling of gathering to watch and talk about film in the middle of wine country felt transformative. I wouldn't miss this festival.

    January 2019