From the press release: 

Director Joe Carnahan to Serve as President of the Jury for third annual Festival, November 13-17

Napa, Calif. (August 20, 2013) – The Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) is pleased to announce the composition of the Jury for the third annual Festival, scheduled November 13 – 17, 2013. Leading the Jury will be Joe Carnahan (Narc, Smokin’ Aces, The A-Team, The Grey), the respected film director, screenwriter, producer, and actor. 

“We are thrilled and honored to have the Jury line-up that we do for the third Annual Napa Valley Film Festival,” said Marc Lhormer, Executive and Artistic Director of the Napa Valley Film Festival.  “All of the Jurors exude passion, experience, and excitement for the film industry and contribute their own knowledge and diverse background to the Festival.  We look forward to hearing what this year’s high caliber Judges think about the film selections, of which we are incredibly proud.”   

Juried categories include U.S. Narrative Features, U.S. Documentary Features and Short Films, U.S. Narrative Short Films, and Animated Short Films.  The Narrative Features Jury will award a $10,000 cash prize, presented by Meadowood Napa Valley, to the Director of the Best Narrative Feature. The winner of the best film in the Animated Shorts Films Category, sponsored by Amazon Web Services and Intel, will be awarded $10,000 worth of Amazon Web Services credits.

Audiences will vote for: favorite Narrative Feature; favorite Actor and Actress in a Narrative Feature; favorite Documentary feature; favorite “Lounge” feature (Narrative or Documentary in the NVFF Lounge venue screening more adventurous fare); favorite Narrative Short; favorite Documentary Short; and favorite animated short.

All winners take home large format and signed collectible bottles from some of Napa Valley’s most sought after award winning wineries.

Jury President

– Joe Carnahan: American Screenwriter and Director. The popular cult film Smokin’ Aces followed Mr. Carnahan’s critically acclaimed cop drama Narc, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2002 and earned him a Best Director Independent Spirit Award nomination. He returned to the Director’s chair in 2012 with the critically acclaimed, box office success The Grey starring Liam Neeson. Prior to that, he teamed with Neeson on the big screen version of the beloved TV show The A-Team.  Carnahan also wrote and directed the innovative short internet film The Hire: Ticker, produced by Ridley Scott and starring Clive Owen, Don Cheadle, Ray Liotta, and F. Murray Abraham for BMW in 2002. Mr. Carnahan’s writing career includes screenplays for Pride and Glory, a police drama released by Warner Brothers starring Colin Farrell and Edward Norton, as well as adaptations of Mark Bowden’s Killing Pablo and James Ellroy’s White Jazz, both of which he is set to direct. Carnahan has recently been tapped to re-imagine the classic ‘70’s revenge tale Death Wish for Paramount and MGM and is currently directing the television pilot Those Who Kill for Fox 21 and Imagine television. He is currently in post-production with Stretch (a 2014 release) starring Patrick Wilson, Chris Pine and Jessica Alba. 

U.S. Narrative Features

– Sydney Levine: Sydney Levine’s thirty plus years in the film industry include having been the first woman in international film distribution at 20th Century Fox, a pioneering acquisitions executive for Lorimar, and later Vice President of Acquisitions for Republic Pictures. She maintains the blog SydneysBuzz, which appears on IMDbPro’s front page and is a featured blog of IndieWIRE.

–  Dana Harris: Dana Harris is the Los Angeles-based editor-in-chief and general manager of the Webby Award-winning Indiewire. Prior to joining IW, she spent nearly 11 years at Variety in roles that included film reporter, creating lifestyle section Variety Weekend, serving as editor of Variety.com and developing new products for the publication’s website. She has covered virtually all of the world’s major film festivals, contributed to publications including the Los Angeles Times Magazine, the Star-Ledger, the UTNE Reader, FILMMAKER and Premiere.

– Morrie Warshawski: Morrie Warshawski works with nonprofits and filmmakers that are having difficulty realizing their full potential.  He helps them create roadmaps to a better future through strategic planning.  His work is characterized by a commitment to the core values of creativity, thoughtfulness, transparency, and tolerance.  Warshawski has worked in the field for over thirty years as an administrator, consultant, facilitator, teacher and writer.  He was the Executive Director of two media arts centers (Bay Area Video Coalition and The Media Project). He has served on numerous grant panels, and consulted with dozens of independent filmmakers on career and fundraising issues.  

U.S. Documentary Features and Short Films

– Lissa Gibbs: Lissa Gibbs’s professional experience includes producing educational and network broadcast documentaries and teaching in middle, high school, and college level institutions. She has held leadership positions at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Tucson and at San Francisco’s Film Arts Foundation (FAF), working in all areas of operations including strategic planning, communications, public relations, board relations, program development, fundraising and cultivation, membership, grant writing, and budgeting.

– Dierck Sindermann: Dierck Sindermann was managing editor of the entertainment section at a German newspaper before coming to the US in 1980. He has been member of the Hollywood Foreign Press, which presents the annual Golden Globes, for 30 years. As correspondent for 10 publications in Europe, he is constantly at new film screening, interviewing directors, producers and actors, and writing reviews and movie-related stories.

– Jennifer Siebel Newsom: An advocate for women, girls, and their families, Jennifer Siebel Newsom uses her skills as a filmmaker, speaker, and CEO of the non-profit social action organization MissRepresentation.org to uncover the glaring injustices we live with every day, yet fail to adequately see and ultimately change.  She wrote, directed, and produced the documentary film Miss Representation, which exposes the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence in America.  The film premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and was picked up by Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network. Today, when she’s not running MissRepresentation.org, Newsom serves as a board member for PBS’s Northern California affiliate KQED, a Global Advisory Board member of the Dove Self Esteem Project (DSEP), and a commissioner on the Girl Scouts’ Healthy Media Commission.  

U.S. Narrative Short Films

– Dave Grohl: Dave Grohl is one of the most respected figures on the international music scene.  Dave got his start at 17 with the punk band Scream, and made his recorded debut as drummer for Nirvana on 1991’s generation-defining Nevermind.  Dave then took center stage with his own band, Foo Fighters, who have since sold more than 25 million records, won 11 Grammys, and become one of the biggest drawing live acts the world over.  More recently, Dave released SOUND CITY: REAL TO REEL, his debut as a feature documentary director/producer.  The film focuses both on the history of the legendary Van Nuys, CA studio for which it is named and on the ongoing fight to preserve the human element of music in an increasingly digital world.

– Ben Bray: Ben Bray was discovered at the age of 21 by Stunt Coordinators Dan Bradley and Ron Stein, after years of boxing experience. Now an award winning actor and stunt coordinator, Bray has been nominated for two Taurus Awards, Best Wire Work for Swordfish starring John Travolta and Best Action Film for The A-Team starring Liam Neeson. With an impressive 100+ film and TV credits as an actor and stunt coordinator, Bray continues his craft of acting and stunt coordinating in the new Oliver Stone movie Savages. 

Animated Short Films

– Paul Duffy: At Amazon Web Services, Paul Duffy helps teams of all sizes bring their ideas to life by taking advantage of the low-cost utility computing offered by Amazon Web Services.  Paul focuses on many different scenarios, including animated shorts.  Paul has 17 years of experience in the technology sector at both very large and very small companies and has a keen interest in film.

– Ryan Tudd Hope: Ryan Tudhope is co-founder of Atomic Fiction, a groundbreaking visual effects studio that has harnessed cloud computing to remain lean and agile while doing work that is bold and more inventive.  Tudhope has overseen visual effects on over thirty major motion pictures including Star Trek Into Darkness, The Lone Ranger, Flight, Looper, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Superman Returns, Sin City, Hellboy and the Academy Award-winning Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. As an executive, Tudhope has earned a reputation for disrupting a complex industry by leveraging the latest in technology and unlocking creative potential in artists.  He has been featured in numerous keynotes, panels and publications and actively speaks to promote school-to-career programs, advice on entering the workforce and the use of technology in the classroom.

– Neil Berkeley: Neil Berkeley has been working in film and television for over ten years, and has developed content and packaging for some of TV’s most popular shows including Project Runway, Top Chef, Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food, America’s Next Great Restaurant, Bravo’s Work of Art and many more. Berkeley has also been design producer for several documentaries including The Cool School, Johnny Cash’s America, Air Guitar Nation and Respect Yourself: The Story of Stax Records.  Berkeley has been operating his design-based production company, BRKLY, since the summer of 2009. In 2012, Berkeley won many awards and accolades for his documentary Beauty Is Embarrassing. 

The Napa Valley Film Festival is produced by Cinema Napa Valley, a registered 501c3 non-profit organization headquartered in Napa, California.  The Festival’s full program will be announced October 7, 2013.  The anticipated lineup of over 125 films will include U.S. Dramatic and Documentary Features, World Cinema, Premieres, Red Carpet Screenings and Studio Sneak Previews, Narrative Shorts, the Animated Shorts Film Category, sponsored by Amazon Web Services and Intel, and Documentary Short Subjects.   

The Festival will be held in Napa Valley’s picturesque communities of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga, with screening and hospitality venues clustered in four walk-able festival villages. The five day “extended weekend” will feature new independent films; studio sneak previews; conversations with attending directors, actors, producers and writers; Opening and Closing Night festivities; the highly anticipated Festival Gala; Celebrity Tribute and Awards Programs; wine-tasting pavilions; film industry focused and culinary panel discussions; and VIP receptions and dinners with Napa Valley’s own celebrity chefs and winemakers.

For information about the upcoming film festival, how to buy Passes, or to join the Patron Circle Program, visit www.nvff.org.

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