Cinema Splashy: Napa Valley Film Festival

"20th Century Women," "Miss Sloane," and other awards-buzzy fare is on the starry bill.

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THERE IS A DEFINITE HUM... in the air around April and May, and it repeats the word "blockbuster, blockbuster, blockbuster" over and over. That's because springtime is prime time for the big movie releases to roll out, something that used to happen after Memorial Day (but now begins closer to spring break). But there's another hum in the air come fall, and it is also related to the silver screen, but this hum isn't about mondo effects and mondo action and mondo everything: Awards season is the name of the game. Well, one of the names, anyway. Think of autumn as a time for some top-notch drama, the subtle comedic affairs, the kind of quirky works that wait for the temperature to cool down before they heat up and steal our collective hearts. The hum in the air also says it is film festival time, with tony happenings like Toronto getting the fall revved up. Taking it to another level, and adding an entire layer of local cuisine-a-tude, is the Napa Valley Film Festival, which is heading into its 6th annual outing from...

NOV. 9-13, 2016: The numbers tell the brimful tale of this five-day affair: Some 120 films will show, with 150 wineries making glass-filled cameos and 50 top toques creating scrumptious bites and bigger dishes. On the screen? "20th Century Women," "Lion," and "Captain Fantastic" are just three of the many majors set to have their time in the sun (or, yes, a low-lit theater). Shorts, documentaries, and other watchable fare add to the big grid while dinners, a pool party, a Movie Mogul Dinner, and more mingle-able gatherings await. It's just about one of the foodie-st of fun times on the larger film festival schedule, which makes sense, as the Napa Valley Film Festival does have "Napa Valley" in its name. Do you hear the cinematic hum, drawing you into awards season? Follow it to its source.

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