The Sonoma International Film Festival has earned a reputation for blending Wine Country lifestyle with world-class films from around the world.
This year’s festival, which takes place March 21-25, will feature 110 films from 18 countries and 200 filmmakers. The festival will celebrate food, wine and film and, in the wake of widespread sexual harassment and assault accusations in the movie industry, it will also explore gender roles in Hollywood.
The opening night headline film is Borg vs McEnroe, which explores the story of the legendary 1980 Wimbledon match between Björn Borg and John McEnroe. The film is directed by Janus Metz and stars Sverrir Gudnason as Borg and Shia LaBeouf as McEnroe.
Two other films will headline the festival: Back to Burgundy, a French film, directed by Cédric Klapisch, about three siblings trying to save their family winery, and Chef, an Indian remake of the 2014 American hit film.
Film star Karen Allen (Animal House, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Malcolm X, The Perfect Storm, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull), will grace the historic Sonoma Plaza. Allen will serve on the film jury and will participate in a panel discussion titled “Reversing Gender Inequality by 2020.” The panel will also include Academy Award-nominated actress Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine, August: Osage County), actor and casting director Pamela Guest (Blue Velvet), JD Heyman, Deputy Entertainment Editor for People, Anna Serner, CEO of the Swedish Film Institute, and Ingrid Rudefors, former head of the Stockholm Film Commission.
Additional star power will be provided by actor and director Ed Begley, Jr. (Ghostbusters, Better Call Saul, Arrested Development), who also serves on the film jury.
As usual, food and drink will rule at the festival. Local restaurants including Oso, the girl & the fig, and Umbria will serve small bites paired with wine from Gloria Ferrer, Petroni, Adastra and more. There will be parties from opening to closing night at the backlot located just blocks from the Sonoma Plaza.
Thursday, March 22, features a unique five-course dinner. Each course will be prepared by a celebrity chef and will be paired with a short film. Foodie stars include Dominique Crenn of San Francisco, Evan Funke (Felix Trattoria) from LA, and two local favorites: John McReynolds (Stone Edge Farms) and John Toulze (the girl & the fig).
The Sonoma International Film Festival runs March 21-25 in Sonoma. Tickets start at $35. sonomafilmfest.org