The 17th Annual Sonoma International Film Festival, April 2-6, is so ambitious, it begins with not one, but with two opening-night films: the Jude Law flick “Dom Hemingway” and the ensemble dramedy “Beside Still Waters.”
After that, another 104 feature films and documentaries (and lots of food and wine) presented in eight venues centered around Sonoma Plaza. Ground zero for sipping and schmoozing will again be the Backlot Tent where, adjacent to City Hall, attending filmmakers, festival sponsors, Cinema Soiree and Patron Pass-holders mingle between films.
The tent will also be the site of the opening night reception on Wednesday, April 2, featuring food from Saddles, the girl & the fig, Café La Haye, the Swiss Hotel, and Smoke Open Fire Grill as well as bubbles by Gloria Ferrer, and wine from Envolve and Muscardini Cellars.
“Vintners, Growers & Groovers” is the special event slated for Thursday, April 3, with the screening of “The Organic Life,” a documentary by local filmmaker Casey Beck, and “The Fourth Noble Truth,” with Harry Hamlin and Kristen Kerr. The tent party features a down-home buffet including fried chicken & riblettes from by Sondra Bernstein, plus Chateau St. Jean wines and music by the John Brothers Piano Quartet.
On Friday, April 4, the “cinema en español” Vamos al Cine program is celebrated ‘a-la-Latina’ with the rhythms of the Carlos Herrera band, folkloric dances by the Quetzalen group, flavors by Rancho Viejo, La Casa, Maya and Bay Area Catering, paired with Robledo wines. Latino community leaders, directors and actors from Cuba, Venezuela and Mexico, festival patrons and special guests will be in attendance.
Other highlights include an April 4 blues concert at Sonoma Veterans Building following the screening of the music doc “Born in Chicago;” an April 5 children’s program with live music and performing dogs; and, on Sunday morning, April 6, films from students of the Sonoma Valley High School’s Media Arts Program.
Ticket options range from individual films to all-event passes. For all ticket and show information (and a full calendar for your mobile) visit Sonomafilmfest.org.