22nd Annual Sonoma Film Festival Reveals Lineup

By: Mar. 18, 2019

22nd Annual Sonoma Film Festival Reveals Lineup

The 2019 Sonoma International Film Festival (SIFF) is celebrating 22 years of film, food, wine, and spirits Wednesday, March 27 to Sunday, March 31, 2019. All films are shown at intimate venues within walking distance of Sonoma's historic plaza. In total, 123 films from around the world, from over 28 countries and 200 filmmakers, will be showcased as all eyes turn to Sonoma for a Festival that consistently attracts the most prominent names in the film industry and has become a marquee destination for film lovers, as well as lovers of world class food and wine!

The Opening Night Gala is Wednesday, March 27 from 5PM to 7PM in the Diageo Backlot Tent and features music from The Rich Little Band. The Opening Night Film, LADIES IN BLACK, follows at Sebastiani Theater (7:15pm) and Meyer Sound & Dolby Hall at Vets 1 (7:45pm). From Academy Award nominated director Bruce Beresford(Driving Miss Daisy, Mao's Last Dancer), LADIES IN BLACK is set in the summer of 1959 when the impact of European migration and the RISE of women's liberation is about to change Australia forever. Julia Ormond (Actor), Rachael Taylor (Actor) and Allanah Zitserman (Producer) to walk the red carpet in support of the film, which is the largest grossing film in Australia's history. Jennifer Brown of Flagstar Bank and Tina DeMartini of DeMartini Electric, Inc., are the presenting sponsors of the Opening Night Film.

BAO, the 2019 Oscar® winning animated short - Wednesday, March 27 at 7PM at Sebastiani Theatre and Wednesday, March 27 at 7:45PM at Meyer Sound and Dolby Hall at Vets I. An aging Chinese mom suffering from empty nest syndrome gets another chance at motherhood when one of her dumplings springs to life as a lively dumpling boy. Dumpling starts growing up fast, and Mom realizes that nothing stays cute and small forever.

Other notable filmmakers and actors expected to attend include: New Zealand's Oscar submission YELLOW IS FORBIDDEN director Pietra Brettkelly; L'ARCHITECTE TEXTILE director and Master Tailor Mika'ela Fisher; GIRL ON WAVE subject World Champion Wind Surfer Sarah Hauser; T FOR Taj Mahal Indian director Kireet Khurana and star Allie Faulkner; and Closing Night film, SIR Indian director Rohena Gera.

SIFF's signature initiative-the Media Arts Program started at Sonoma Valley High School in 2002-introduces students to the process of storytelling and provides the resources for them to create films, many of which are shown annually at The Student Showcase. This year's showcase is Thursday, March 28 at 10AM at the Sebastiani Theatre and on Sunday, March 31 at 11AM at Landmark Vineyards at Andrews Hall.


(Northern California Premiere)
Narrative/92 min/Total Screening: 97 min
English Subtitles
Dir: Francesco Falaschi
Arturo, a gifted chef with a troubled past, is sentenced to teach a cooking class for young people with autism. When Arturo is asked to mentor one of them in a culinary CONTEST in the Tuscan countryside, a life changing friendship is formed.
Preceded by STUMPED
Friday, March 29, 4:30 PM, Vintage House and Saturday, March 30, 8:30 PM, Sebastiani Theatre

(North American Premiere)
Narrative/104 min/Japan
English Subtitles
Dir: Jiro Shono
Eight women from different walks of life, each with different perspectives, try to find their own way of living and liberating themselves through food and sex.
Saturday, March 30, 2:15 PM, Meyer Sound & Dolby Hall at Vets I


(World Premiere)
Narrative/83 min/NZ
Dir: Casey Zilbert
Three 20-something friends spend a wine-fueled long weekend together at a beautiful vineyard in the wake of a cancelled wedding. They find that nothing heals a broken heart like good wine, good friends, and a damn good time.
Thursday, March 28, 9:30 AM, Vintage House and Saturday, March 30, 12 PM, Landmark Vineyards at Andrews Hall

Documentary/90 min/Spain/Total screening: 94 min
English Subtitles
Dir: José Luís López Linares
More than just a "superfood", in the region of Jaén olive oil is a way of life. Explore the rich history and the extraordinary enterprise of a group of local businessmen seeking to produce one of the best olive oils in the world.
Preceded by BIRTH OF BREAD
Thursday, March 28, 12:30 PM, Vintage House and Sunday, March 31, 9:30 AM, SF Chronicle House of Docs & Shorts at Vets II

(North American Premiere)
Narrative/126 min/Japan
English Subtitles
Dir: Yoshihiro Fukagawa
Explore the bond between people, food and their Hokkaido their way of life. This tight knit community, both nurtured by and strengthened by food, is inspired by real organic cattle farmers - the "Yama no Kai."
Friday, March 29, 9 AM, Sebastiani Theatre and Sunday, March 31, 1:45 PM, Sebastiani Theatre

T FOR Taj Mahal
Narrative/104 min/India
English Subtitles
Dir: Kireet Khurana

Director Kireet Khurana and star Allie Faulkner will be in attendance.
A passionate, illiterate villager running a wayside eatery near Agra takes on the task of educating his village kids in a unique barter with his tourist customers: Eat and Teach.
Thursday, March 28, 9 AM, Meyer Sound & Dolby Hall at Vets I and Friday, March 29, 4:45 PM, Meyer Sound & Dolby Hall at Vets I

(Northern California Premiere)
Narrative/95 min/Tunisia
English Subtitles
Growing up in the Moroccan village of Tazzeka, Elias learned the SECRETS of traditional Moroccan cuisine from his grandmother who raised him. Years later, meeting a top Paris chef and a young woman named Salma inspires him to leave home.
Friday, March 29, 11:45 AM, Meyer Sound & Dolby Hall at Vets I and Sunday, March 31, 9 AM, Sebastiani Theatre

(U.S. Premiere)
Documentary/62 min/Argentina
Dir: Alfred Oliveri
To celebrate the tenth anniversary of his restaurant Tegui, German Martitegui decides to close for forty days. His celebratory re-opening happens before the Andes Mountain Range: without walls, without roof, cooking only with fires and following the movement of the Sun.
Thursday, March 28, 9:30 AM, Burlingame Hall and Saturday, March 30, 5:30 PM, SF Chronicle House of Docs & Shorts at Vets II

Documentary/90 min/Argentina
English Subtitles
Dir: Nicolás Carreras
The world's best sommeliers have three days to demonstrate a lifetime of study at the prestigious World Sommelier Competition. This is the ultimate expression of a fascinating culture that gives new meaning to the fabulous myths and mysteries of the world of wine.
Friday, March 29, 11:15 AM, SF Chronicle House of Docs & Shorts at Vets II and Sunday, March 31, 2:15 PM, Burlingame Hall

Documentary/101 min/Sweden
English Subtitles
Dir: Filip Hammar, Fredrik Wikingsson
1985: The TV-show Rekord-Magazinet appoints Köping to be the most boring city in Sweden. While the news paralyzes the countryside, a newcomer by the name of Hasse decides to refute the "Stockholm bastards" by baking the world's longest layer cake.
Friday, March 29, 12 PM, Sebastiani Theatre and Sunday, March 31, 2 PM, Meyer Sound & Dolby Hall at Vets I

Documentary/60 min/USA
Dir: Joseph Daniels
Follow over a dozen hobby viticulturists and home winemakers in Sonoma. Blending Science with alchemy, agrarian zeal with ingenuity, these passionate amateur oenophiles can sometimes make wine rivaling that of the best commercial wineries . . . and sometimes not.
Preceded by AFTER THE FIRE
Saturday, March 30, 7:30 PM, Meyer Sound & Dolby Hall at Vets I


Total screening: 103 min
Friday, March 29, 2 PM, Burlingame Hall
Sunday, March 31, 3 PM, Sonoma Valley Museum of Art


16 min/USA
Dir: Lotti Pharriss Knowles
Chef Charlie Trotter is considered by many to be one of the world's greatest culinary artists. On his path to perfection, Trotter improvised continually like a jazz musician-never repeating a dish twice.

18 min/Italy/USA
English Subtitles
Dir: James Orr
500 years ago some UNSUNG genius put tomato sauce on a piece of focaccia bread, creating one of the most popular foods on earth. Today people flock to Italy for pizza made with centuries-old traditional methods. But that's the past - this is the future.

2 min/Canada
Dir: Daniel Klein
Watch a month's worth of footage documenting NOVA Scotia's fishermen and farmers condensed into an amazing two and a half minutes

6 min/Peru
Dir: Gregg Bleakney
Culinary visionary Virgilio Martinez and sister Malena set out to connect with and draw inspiration from indigenous knowledge, traditions, and the extraordinary larder of Perú's Sacred Valley. Off the Table series presenter Jim Kane accompanies them on their high-altitude adventure.

6 min/Canada
Dir: Vicki Chau
Traditional Chinese food and music blend together to demonstrate the passing down of culture and traditions between generations. Explore the intricate connection between the strands of noodles and the strings of instruments.

54 min/Italy
English Subtitles
Dir: Jean-Baptiste Mallet
The world's most consumed fruit has an untold story: follow THE JOURNEY of tomato paste from Africa, Italy, China and America to see the consequences of this global business.


(Northern California)
Documentary/101 min/France
English Subtitles
Dir: Mika'ela Fisher - In Attendance
Documenting the intimate in sartorial art, a mistress tailor finds herself in the creative production of a three-piece suit: sketch, pattern, fabric, shaping, assembly, fitting, finalization - hundreds of (wo)man-hours. A story, a film... and an allegory.
Thursday, March 28, 3:30 PM, Sonoma Valley Museum of Art and Saturday, March 30, 12 PM, Burlingame Hall

Documentary/97 min/New Zealand, China
Dir: Pietra Brettkelly - In Attendance
A modern day Cinderella where diminutive and daring Guo Pei's dream of the exclusive yet savage world of haute couture doesn't end at the ball. Global power dynamics and the opposition between art and commerce weave together with a hankering for oppressive Imperial Grandeur.
Friday, March 29, 12:00 PM, Landmark Vineyards at Andrews Hall and Saturday, March 30, 2:15 PM, Vintage House


Mike Wallace IS HERE

Documentary/94 min/USA

Dir: Avi Belkin

For over 50 years, 60 Minutes' fearsome newsman went head-to-head with the 20th century's most influential figures. The film tracks Mike's storied career and troubled personal life while unpacking how broadcast journalism evolved to today's precarious tipping point.

Saturday, March 30, 3:30 PM, Sebastiani Theatre and Sunday, March 31, 4:30 PM, Meyer Sound & Dolby Hall at Vets 1


Documentary/73 min/USA

Dir: Jian Ping

The Man Behind the Bunny presents the life and lasting impact of Art Paul, founding art director of Playboy magazine, creator of the iconic bunny logo, and a groundbreaking artist of our time. Paul's thirty-year tenure at Playboy single-handedly changed the landscape of the two-dimensional magazine, and revolutionized the relationship between art and publishing. Through conversations with Art Paul himself, archival footage, stills, and interviews with artists, graphic designers, art directors, and former Playboy executives, Art Paul of Playboy: The Man Behind the Bunny reveals the life and accomplishments of the legendary art director, acclaimed artist, and inspiring human being.

Sunday, March 31, 1:45 PM, Landmark Vineyards at Andrews Hall


Documentary/84 min/USA

Dir: Brett Fallentine

South Central LA's Black Cowboys had their horse stable known as the Hill mysteriously erupt into flames in 2012. This is the story of their ongoing fight to live out their vision of the West.

Thursday, March 28, 6:30 PM, Landmark Vineyards at Andrews Hall and Friday, March 29, 6:45 PM, Landmark Vineyards at Andrews Hall


Documentary/61 min/USA

Dir: Steven Esparza

Film subject Sarah Hauser will be in attendance.

Meet Sarah Hauser: professional windsurfer with big dreams. Follow her journey as a New-Caledonian athlete on the American windsurfing stage as she delivers her peak performance in big swells around the globe and leaves her unique mark on the sport.

Proceeded by PAIGE

Friday, March 29, 4 PM, SF Chronicle House of Docs & Shorts at Vets II and Sunday, March 31, 11:45 AM, Burlingame Hall


Documentary/86 min/USA

Dir: Phillip Baribeau

Film subject Eduardo Garcia will be in attendance.

In remote country Montana, chef and outdoorsman, Eduardo Garcia is shocked by 2400 volts of electricity in a freak accident. His hand, ribs, and muscle mass gone, he discovers what he has to gain on the road to recovery from loss.

Proceeded by 1500 MILES

Friday, March 29, 7:15 PM, Burlingame Hall and Saturday, March 30, 4:45 PM, Vintage House


Documentary/83 min/Canada

English Subtitles

Dir: Alison Reid

Dr. Anne Innis Dagg re-traces the steps of her ground-breaking 1956 journey to South AFRICA to study giraffes in the wild, giving us an intimate look into the factors that destroyed her career and the forces that brought her back.


Friday, March 29, 4:45 PM, Sebastiani Theatre and Sunday, March 31, 11:30 AM, Vintage House

Sunday, March 31 is the Closing Night Film and Wrap Party, The Closing Night Film, SIR directed by Rohena Gera, starring Ahmareen Anjum, Vivek Gomber, and Geetanjali Kulkarni, will show at 7:15pm at the Sebastiani Theatre and at 7:30pm at Meyer Sound & Dolby Hall at Vets 1. SIR is the story of worlds and classes colliding - of human connection across the invisible, oppressive barriers of society. Director Rohena Gera will be in attendance. The Closing Night Film and Wrap Party is presented by Daniel Casabonne of Sotheby's International Realty.

The film festival guide has all films and events by day, times, venues, and includes film trailers when available.

The sellout SIFF/Devour! Chefs & Shorts is back! This year's event features highly regarded culinary luminaries who will each prepare a dish inspired by short food-focused films from around the world. Michael Howell and Lia Rinaldo, founders of DEVOUR!-the world's largest food and film festival in NOVA Scotia, Canada-curate the chefs and the films. Each course, paired with a select wine, creates a multi-sensory dining experience. This unique event will appeal to all foodie, film and wine buffs. The evening starts with a reception of passed appetizers, Gloria Ferrer bubbles and a SIFF signature cocktail from Ketel One Botanical. The wine pairings feature Huge Bear Wines, Deerfield Ranch Winery, Bee Hunter Wine, and Landmark Vineyards. The featured chefs include Michael Howell (Founder and Executive Director of Devour!), Chef Marcellus Coleman (Executive Chef at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa), Chef Cole Dickinson (Executive Chef at MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa), Pastry Chef Michelle Gayer (Owner Salty Tart bakery), Chef Della Gossett (Pastry Chef at Spago) and Chef Eduardo Garcia (Co-Founder Montana Mex). Adding to the night's experience Chef Tyler Florence will screen his trailer for UNCRUSHABLE, showing twice at SIFF22. The event takes place on Thursday, March 28 at 6PM at host Ramekins Culinary School, Events & Inn located at 450 W. Spain Street, Sonoma. Tickets are $250 with Soirée, $275 with Cinema Pass, $300 General Public, $500 for seat at Tyler Florence's hosted table (only five seats available) and are available at http://www.sonomafilmfest.org/page464.html.

New to SIFF this year is The UNCRUSHABLE Dinner with Tyler Florence. On Friday, March 29 join celebrated Chef Tyler Florence for a one-of-a-kind "Dinner and a Movie" event. View Tyler's documentary, UNCRUSHABLE, and after the film, savor a four-course dinner paired with wines from SIMI, Ravenswood, Robert Mondavi and The Prisoner Wine Company. The dinner begins at 5PM at Ramekins Culinary School, Events & Inn located at 450 W. Spain Street, Sonoma. Tickets are $250 with Soirée Pass, $275 with Cinema Pass, $300 General Public and $500 for a seat at Tyler Florence's hosted table (only five seats available) and are available for purchase athttp://www.sonomafilmfest.org/page464.html.

FROM BOLLYWOOD TO SONOMAWOOD - Diageo Backlot Tent, 7-10:30PM - Friday, March 29

Taking a cue from SIFF 22 selected film T FOR Taj Mahal, Bollywood comes to Sonomawood for a night of Hindi-inspired music, and food from Bollywood Bar & Clay Oven and Delhi Belly. A performance from the Mona Khan Company, a top dance troupe with extensive experience working with Bollywood singers and actors, and our DJ will keep your sari swinging on the dance floor. As the night progresses, we'll transition into our tribute to the genius of Ray Charles with the band The Ray Charles Project, featuring Santana lead singer Tony Lindsay and his swinging Bay Area sextet.

SIFF AWARDS CEREMONY AND CELEBRATION - Diageo Backlot Tent, 6:30-10:30PM - Saturday, March 30

Celebrate SIFF22's finest films at the Juried Award Ceremony, following the SIFF Wine Awards. Toast the winners in style with Don Julio, Johnnie Walker, Ketel One Botanical, and Tito's cocktails, along with Gloria Ferrer bubbles and other world-class wines, and small bites from local favorites including Chef Alejandro Garcia, Executive Chef at Rodney Strong. And the: BOOM! Funk Fatale knocks it out of the park with a funkalicious mash-up of all of your favorite, funky, fresh dance tunes into uninterrupted flows of irresistibly seductive grooves! The fierce sires, Jessica Adalawan and Rachael Sierra, along with the smokin' Gogo Golightly Dancing Girls, lead this collection of Bay Area all-star musicians.

Pass Information

The 22nd Annual Sonoma International Film Festival runs from Wednesday, March 27 through Sunday, March 31. The best way to experience the festival and have access to all films is by getting a SIFF pass. SIFF can be enjoyed at different levels. Currently Cinema Passes are $325, $950 for Soirée, and $2,500 for Patron. All Cinema pass holders will have day access to the Diageo Backlot Tent. Soirée pass holders will have day VIP area and evening parties access. For information about tickets, festival passes, prices, and benefits visit www.sonomafilmfest.org.

The Sonoma International Film Festival, an entirely walkable festival, is a 501(c)3 corporation dedicated to promoting independent film and filmmakers from around the world, inspiring film lovers, and introducing the power of film to student filmmakers. SIFF's signature initiative-the Media Arts Program started at Sonoma Valley High School in 2002-introduces students to the process of storytelling and provides the resources for them to create films, many of which are shown annually at The Student Showcase. This "only in SONOMAWOOD" five-day event features screening venues in and around Sonoma Plaza, offers world-class cuisine from local artisans and exceptional wines from Wine Country vintners. Renowned filmmakers, industry leaders and celebrities such as Bruce Willis, Susan Sarandon, Robin Williams, John Lasseter, Danny Glover, Demián Bichir, Mary-Louise Parker, Ray Liotta, Michael Keaton, and Meg Ryan have walked the SIFF red carpet and enjoyed its intimate ambiance.

MovieMaker Magazine selected SIFF as one of the world's Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals. SIFF is currently ranked among the top ten film festivals in USA Today's 10 Best Readers' Choice online polling. Final rankings will be announced on March 22.

Over the past 22 years, the Sonoma International Film Festival continues to promote independent film and filmmakers from around the world with the support of incredible sponsors who include but are not limited to: Manitou Fund, Diageo, Sonoma Magazine, Tito's Handmade Vodka, Arrowood, Bank of Marin, Dolby, Sonoma Market, Sophienwald, Stor-It-All, North Bay Web, Spritz, Don Julio, Johnnie Walker, Ketel One Botanical, San Francisco Chronicle, Landmark Vineyards, Brew Dr., Huge Bear Wines, OHM Coffee Roasters, Farm Fresh To You, Rodney Strong, Gloria Ferrer, and Lake Sonoma Winery.

For more information, please visit www.sonomafilmfest.org


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