Winners from 2nd Napa Valley Film Festival Announced

The envelope please… From shorts to feature, documentary to drama, the awards from the second NVFF were announced at Sunday's wrap party


It was all over but the awards at the final night of the which ran at the Opera House and other valley locations from Nov. 7 - 11.

There were both jury and audience awards for a number of films in the second annual event, in categories from Best Narrative Feature to Favorite Lounge Feature, all presented on Sunday evening in the awards ceremony at the Napa Valley Opera House.

Leading the awards was Future Weather, by Jenny Deller, for the jury-selected  Best Narrative Feature. The U.S. film is about an 8th grader worried about global warming, was screened three times during the five-day festival but received no audience ratings or reviews. However, the judges apparently liked it enough to award it the $10,000 cash prize.

Best Documentary Feature, according to the jury, was Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself, co-directed by Tom Bean and Luke Poling, about the writer who famously immersed himself in his research, from pro football to group sex, as well as co-founding the influential Paris Review.

Audience awards for Favorite Narrative Feature went to Any Day Now, written and directed by Travis Fine. Actor Alan Cumming won an award for his work in Any Day Now as well.

Favorite Documentary Feature was Rising From Ashes, directed by T.C. Johnstone, the film about cycle racing in Rwanda.

Beware of Mr. Baker, the documentary about jazz-rock drummer Ginger Baker, directed by Jay Bulger, won Favorite Lounge Feature.  

Winners in all categories, jury and audience, are listed below.

Earlier in the festival, a Celebrity Tribute program Friday night honored Alan Cumming (who also starred in The Anniversary Party) as a Spotlight Performance, James Marsden (Robot & Frank) as a Trailblazer Versatile Actor, and Rising Stars Imogen Poots (A Late Quartet) and Adam Driver (HBO's Girls). The event was hosted by Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush.  Hosts and awardees in both programs received wine from event sponsoring wineries, as noted above, in addition to their honor.

The industry professionals who made up the Festival Jury ranged from film critic Leonard Maltin and director Joe Carnahan (The Grey), sharing the co-president seat; to film journalist John Horn of the Los Angeles Times and the Times' critic Sheila Benson, the co-directors of the Academy Award-winning documentary Undefeated, T.J. Martin and Dan Lindsay, and many others. A complete list of jurors and awards is on the NVFF website.

Award-winning films are as follows:

Jury Awards for Narrative Features:

Best Narrative Feature ($10,000 Cash Prize presented by Meadowood Napa Valley; wine from Lail Vineyards)

Future Weather, written and directed by Jenny Deller

Special Jury Award for Cinematography (wine from Beaulieu (BV) Vineyard)

Not Waving but Drowning, directed by Devyn Waitt; Nathan Levine-Heaney (cinematographer)

Special Jury Award for Acting (wine from Freemark Abby)

Madeline Zima and Joel David Moore in Stuck, directed by Stuart Acher

Mt. Veeder Peak Performance for Best Acting in a Narrative Feature ($1,000 Cash Prize and wine from Mt. Veeder Appellation)

Alan Cumming in Any Day Now, directed by Travis Fine

Jury Awards for Documentary Films:

Best Documentary Feature (wine from Terlato Family Vineyards)

Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself, co-directed by Tom Bean and Luke Poling

Special Jury Prize for Most Promising Documentary Filmmaker (wine from Hill Family Estate)

Shape of Things to Come, directed by Matt Day

Best Documentary Short Subject (wine from Alpha Omega)

The Last Ice Merchant (El Ultimo Hielero), directed by Sandy Patch

Jury Awards for Narrative Short Films:

Best Narrative Short (wine from Chappellet and Fortunati, respectively)

Co-winners: My Name Is Your First Love, written and directed by Rob Richert; The Pact, written and directed by Jason Pugatch

Special Jury Award for Social Impact (wine from Saintsbury)

Put It In a Book, directed by Rodrigo Garcia

Audience Awards:

Favorite Narrative Feature (wine from Behrens Family Winery)

Any Day Now, written and directed by Travis Fine

Favorite Documentary Feature (wine from Peju Province Winery)

Rising From Ashes, directed by T.C. Johnstone

Favorite Documentary Short Subject (wine from Chiarello Family Wines)

Necking, directed by Lindsay Lindenbaum

Favorite Narrative Short (wine from Allora Vineyards)

High Maintenance, written and directed by Shawn Wines

Favorite Lounge Feature (Narrative or Doc) (wine from SHOW from Trinchero Family)

Beware of Mr. Baker, directed by Jay Bulger

What did you think of this year's Napa Valley Film Festival? Did you attend, and have a favorite movie you'd like to commend? Tell us in the comments!

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Mary Richardson November 14, 2012 at 07:44 PM
We saw 4 films: Plimpton!, The Cardboard Bernini, Beware of Mr. Baker, and The Final Member. I completely agree that Beware of Mr. Baker should get the Favorite Lounge Feature award! I'm also grateful for the serving of Lagunitas IPA in that venue! It's a nice compliment to the Lounge, and it's a refreshing change from the ol' "Red or White?" I am in agreement that Plimpton! should get an award, and I was glad to see it play in the Cameo Theater. I really enjoyed The Cardboard Bernini, though, because of its complete look, from conception to end, at the artistic process. The Final Member was rather odd. It was funny to me that once I got used to its subject matter, it didn't seem nearly as strange to me as the American guy in the film... Considering that I only saw four films, I'm glad to see that 1/2 of the ones we saw were winners! Yay!
Christian Kallen November 14, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Thanks for all the mini-reviews, Mary! Anybody else have something to say about a movie they saw in the Film Festival?
Scott Yeager November 14, 2012 at 10:18 PM
I thought It's A Disaster was good, not great. It suffered typical third act issues. The actual presentation of the film had problems. The lower left third of the screen looked good, the rest of the screen/movie looked like it was in shadows, which took away from enjoying the movie. It must have been the source, it was very weird. I kept noticing it through the whole movie.
Nicole Emanuele November 15, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Hey there - just a correction - Not Waving But Drowning is directed by Devyn Waitt. Nathan Levine-Heaney is the cinematographer.
Christian Kallen November 15, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Nicole, thanks for pointing out the correct credits for "Not Waving But Drowning". So, how was the movie?


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