The Food and Wine of Napa Valley Film Fest

What to do at the film fest if you're not catching any movies.

FESTIVAL BEYOND THE FILMS: When the words "film festival" come at the end of an event name, there's no spoiler alert needed. The occasion is going to be all about the watching of movies, the discussing of movies, the going to more movies, and all things movie-centric. But there are a few cinema gatherings that are almost equally about other pursuits outside of what is happening on the big screen. Yep, the Sundance Film Festival has its skiing, and the various Tinseltown fests have their hobnobbing. But there's no film festival that's associated with wine and food quite like the Napa Valley Film Festival. In fact, you're almost more likely to see people holding stemware as popcorn boxes in photos from the fall-time festival. So could attend a film festival, feel as if you participated in a few lovely doings, and not actually see a film? Well, of course you're going to want to take in the movies at this year's NVFF. Why would you go and not fully movie-up? But if you're looking for a slate of non-cinematic soirees, too, why not try...

THE PRE-SCREENING POURS: This is now firmly tradition at the Napa Valley Film Festival. Sure, other fests might hand out candy, but wouldn't you rather be handed a rich Cabernet as you find out that the winemaker of the Cab in question is actually in the theater? Yes, you probably would.

WINE PAVILIONS: There are four of them dotting the fest -- Napa, Yountville, St. Helena, and Calistoga are the locations -- meaning that you can swing by for a tasting or two when the mood strikes. "(M)id-afternoon break" is the suggested moment to visited the popular pavilions.

THE CULINARY STAGE: Make for Napa to "sample tasty treats and collect invaluable cooking tips" from this chef-focused slice of the festival. The line-up of local favorites -- and hello Stella Artois -- is indeed solid.

But, yes: We were being cheeky earlier. Of course you go to NVFF to film it up. That said, we'll always marvel that it is one of the few film festivals that has a whole other thing going, a foodie and wine-nice wonderland. We heart popcorn, but shouldn't every film fest boast this delicious dimension?

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