The 17th Annual Sonoma International Film Festival is humming along as it moves into the weekend phase. The first there days have created excitement with the creativity, the idio-syncronicity (not a word) and the imagination of the attending filmmakers from 22 countries!
The Grand Opening on Wednesday at the Backlot Tent featured an Opening Reception with filmmakers, organizers, sponsors and patrons in attendance. Hors d'œuvres from 'the girl and the fig', 'Saddles', 'Epicurean Connection', ' Smoke Open Fire Grill', 'Cafe La Haye', 'Swiss Hotel' and 'Della Santina' delighted all in attendance. The libations included bubbles from Gloria Ferrer, wine from Envolve and beer from new Belgium. Brilliant!
Kevin McNeely, Executive Director of the festival, when queried about his hopes for the 5 day festival offered, "I want the brilliant filmmakers in attendance to make a connection with the very film-savvy residents of our community. And once they have made that connection, to develop a real sense of mutual admiration within the inspiring and amazing surroundings we call Sonoma!"
The two features for opening night included Dom Hemingway, starring Jude Law and last years festival Tribute Awardee Demian Bichir and Besides Still Waters, a contemporary version of The Big Chill, exploring the enduring nature of youthful relationships. Both had turn away crowds and both were well received.
Highlights of day 2 and 3 included McConkey (USA), an exhilarating tribute to the late Ski-Base Jumping icon, Shane McConkey; Jadoo (United Kingdom), the store of two brothers/chefs who having a falling out and a reunion; Tasting Menu (Spain), an ironic story about a couple who break up after waiting a year for a 'to die for restaurant reservation and City Slacker (UK), the story of a high powered corporate woman seeking a man to father and care for her 'have it all' child.
The Sonoma International Film Festival is an opportunity to experience so many indie films in a short time window. The films, the venues, the ambiance, the food and the adult beverages make this a don't miss event. Two days remain! Get there.