Film Festivals
By Sonoma Valley Film Festival
Mar 5, 2008, 17:54

11th Annual Festival to Honor Michael Keaton and Showcase Exceptional Films

Sonoma, CA -- The Sonoma Valley Film Festival has announced that award winning actor Michael Keaton will be honored for his outstanding work in film at the 2008 festival. Keaton will be introducing his directorial debut The Merry Gentleman, which will be screened along with an outstanding selection of other independent films from around the world during the 11th Annual festival (

“We are looking forward to an incredible 11th year,” said Festival Executive Director Marc Lhormer, “We believe this April’s festival will take our celebration of film, food and wine to a whole new level, with top tier indie film premieres, along with pairings of award-winning regional wines curated by our festival sommelier Christopher Sawyer, and cuisine created by celebrity chefs to delight every taste bud. The 2008 Sonoma Valley Film Festival will offer a true feast of cinematic pleasures, including inspiring documentaries, innovative animation, thrilling dramas, and hilarious comedies.”

Films screened at the 2008 Sonoma Valley Film Festival will showcase outstanding performances by Michael Keaton, Laura Dern, Martin Sheen, Brittany Murphy, Malcolm McDowell, Kristen Bell, Blake Lively, Joe Mantegna, Mary Steenburgen, Orlando Bloom, Gwyneth Paltrow, Julia Ormond, William H. Macy and many other celebrated actors and filmmakers.

Official Opening Night on Thursday evening, April 10th, will launch in glamorous style at the grand Opening Night Gala at the stunning, newly constructed Jacuzzi Winery, an Italianate dream-castle.

The 2008 Festival, presented by MBT Physiological Footwear, will take place throughout an all-walkable Festival Village surrounding historic Sonoma Plaza. Film and wine lovers will be able to casually meet stars, filmmakers, celebrity chefs, legendary winemakers and fellow enthusiasts at the ultimate celebration of film, food and wine.

The 11th Annual Festival will culminate at the Closing Night Awards Ceremony taking place on Sunday, April 13th where awards in the form of cash, prizes and custom hand-blown glass wine decanters by master artisan Ryan Blythe will be given in the following categories: Best Animated Short, Best Live Action Short, Best Documentary Feature, Best Narrative Feature, and Audience Awards for Favorite Narrative Feature and Favorite Documentary Feature.

The Sonoma Valley Film Festival:
Set amidst the unparalleled beauty of the Sonoma Valley wine country, the 11th Annual Sonoma Valley Film Festival welcomes filmmakers and film lovers to an intimate and luxurious extended weekend, pairing great food, fine wine and over 65 new independent films from around the world. The festival, acclaimed as a “sun-drenched, wine-soaked cinematic magic carpet ride!” (IFC NEWS), invites guests to enjoy some of the year’s best new independent films, specialty events, luxurious parties, wine and food pairings – and casual mingling with top filmmakers and celebrities from around the world.

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