Program Overview

NVFF’s Film Program is comprised of the following core components:
• Competitive screenings of 90 or so new independent films
• Sneak Previews of prestigious studio films before theatrical release
• Conversations with 300+ writers, directors, actors, producers
• Juried & Audience Awards
• Exclusive Artists-in-Residence Program
• Celebrity Tributes (Legends, Mavericks, Trailblazers and Spotlights)
• Rising Stars Showcase
• Inspiring Student Programs
• Countless opportunities for artist-audience interaction

Juried & Audience Awards

Industry experts decide the Juried Awards and audience ranking determines the Audience Awards. Awards are presented at a festive Awards Ceremony on Saturday night before the Festival Gala. Winning filmmakers take home 3-liter (double-magnum) bottles of highly sought-after Napa Valley wines presented by members of our Vintner Circle. Winners of the Juried Awards for Best Narrative Feature and Best Documentary Feature also receive $10,000 cash prizes courtesy of Meadowood Napa Valley.

Juried Awards Categories
Narrative Features, Documentary Features, Verge (edgier fare), Narrative Shorts, Documentary Shorts.

Audience Awards Categories
Narrative Features, Documentary Features, Verge (edgier fare), Narrative Shorts, Documentary Shorts, Food & Beverage Documentaries, Documentary Showcase, Acting Awards

Art Inspiring Action Initiative

With the support of passionate movie-lovers and philanthropists Jennifer King and Tim Fredel, and their Rugged Elegance Foundation, the Napa Valley Film Festival programming team has curated a special collection of issues-based films under the banner of #ArtInspiringAction.

The new initiative identifies filmmakers who have collaborated with partner organizations to create action campaigns that enable audiences to engage more deeply with the issues raised in the films and empower them to enact change themselves. We have also arranged for several of these filmmakers to participate in a panel conversation on activist filmmaking November 9.

Throughout our program guide, look for the #ArtInspiringAction “stamp” indicating films with action campaigns. To learn more about #ArtInspiringAction please click here.

Awards Season

Special Presentations

Food & Beverage Spotlight

Narrative Features

Documentary Features


Narrative Shorts

Documentary Shorts

Documentary Showcase

Mentors | Panelists | Moderators


The directors of our Narrative and Documentary Feature Films are accepted into our unique Artists-in-Residence Program in partnership with the incomparable Meadowood Napa Valley. These 20 or so talented filmmakers network with their peers, learn from industry mentors, and mingle with patrons and other Meadowood guests at a slew of intimate events. Meadowood also sponsors the twin $10,000 cash prizes awarded by the Jury for Best Narrative and Best Documentary Feature.

Industry Events

We are committed to supporting the careers of working independent filmmakers and developing audiences who appreciate this exceptional and important storytelling art-form.

NVFF18 • NOV 7 - 11

NVFF18 • NOV 7 – 11