Cook Up A Storm To Close Out SIFF

Films and Party Themes Announced

20th Anniversary March 29 – April 2, 2017


SONOMA, CA (March 8, 2017) – The Sonoma International Film Festival (SIFF) is pleased to announce the schedule of events for the fast approaching and highly anticipated 20th Anniversary celebration of film, food, wine and spirits Wednesday, March 29 to Sunday, April 2, 2017

The festive five-day event takes place in the heart of Northern California's Wine Country and will feature more than 130 hand-selected films including independent features, documentaries, world cinema and short films. All films are shown at seven intimate venues within walking distance of Sonoma's historic plaza. The Festival is dedicated to promoting youth visual arts education, supporting independent filmmakers from around the world, and inspiring film lovers. 

”We are excited and prepared for an unprecedented number of filmmakers and festival attendees to come to Sonoma and experience the very best in film, food, wine and spirits,” enthused Executive Director Kevin McNeely. 

For a full list of films, including screening times and locations, visit

New to this year's SIFF Village is the Celebrity Cruises Mobile Cinema, a pop-up mobile theater featuring a high definition projector and sound system. This screening venue will feature truffle popcorn, beverages, great prizes, a special preview of Celebrity EdgeSM as well as feature films, shorts, and documentaries.

Wednesday, March 29

Kick off the festival in style at our Opening Night Reception in the Backlot Tent of SIFF Village (5pm - 7pm). Sonoma is never short of amazing wine and culinary experiences, so try a little of everything from some of Sonoma's finest restaurants and wineries.  

The Opening Film, The Promise starring Christian Bale and Angela Sarafyan, will air at the Sebastiani Theatre at 7pm and at Vets I at 7:30pm. Set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, The Promise follows a love triangle between Michael, a brilliant medical student, the beautiful and sophisticated Ana, and Chris - a renowned American journalist based in Paris. Piper, a Pixar animated film, will be shown before each screening. 

Thursday, March 30

The festival jumps right in with the Student Showcases from 8am-12pm at the Sebastiani Theatre, sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank. The Student Showcases, screening again on Sunday afternoon, are sponsored by the Sonoma Valley Boys & Girls Club. Peter Hansen, the director of the Media Arts Program at Sonoma Valley High School has selected Owen Summers stop action claymation film Magic Beans to be accepted into the Sonoma International Film Festival. Owen is a senior at Sonoma Valley High School. 

Kiara Ramirez will be awarded the inaugural SIFF Emerging Artist Award. This award has been selected for post-high school filmmakers who exemplify the spirit of independent filmmakers with career aspiration in the film arts. Kiara is a 2016 graduate from Mendocino High School. Her first film, which she has produced and directed, is “mini-doc” Behind the Wall.

2017 marks SIFF's 20th anniversary, and we are not alone! Party sponsor Tito's Vodka will be celebrating their 20th anniversary with us with an appearance of Tito Beveridge himself! Catch his WORLD PREMIERE of THIS SIDE OF THE DIRT in the Celebrity Cruises Mobile Cinema right before the party. Sondra Bernstein’s Sonoma institution, the girl and the fig, is also turning 20 and she's celebrating by creating superb food for the party.  Finally, cake by Crisp Bakeshop and other birthday surprises will be in store. Birthday suits discouraged; wear your finest green and gold instead.

Come continue the party at The Starling at the new after party where owners Fred and Elizabeth will be making their signature craft cocktails and Ten Foot Tones will you rock out. Bib and Tucker will be sponsoring the SIFF Anniversary cocktail and Lagunitas will be flowing, both complimentary until they run out.

Friday, March 31

Premiere Sponsor Taiwan Tourism Bureau is bringing Taiwan’s vibrant nightlife tradition to SIFF. Fun photo-ops and plenty of Taiwanese food and drinks will transform the Backlot Tent (7pm - 10:30pm) into a lively Night Market scene. Join the excitement and Taiwan On! Taiwan Tourism Bureau is sponsoring the Taiwan Tourism Theatre and Lounge at the Community Center.

Saturday, April 1

Walk the red carpet and celebrate the Festival’s finest films at the Juried Awards Ceremony in the Backlot Tent (6:30pm - 10:30pm). Following the awards, toast the winners with wine, cocktails, Lagunitas and food from the girl & the fig as you rock out to Sonoma’s favorite cover band, Loosely Covered. 

Sunday, April 2

Cook Up A Storm, sponsored by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, will close out the festival. A Cantonese street cook and his chief rival, a French-trained Michelin-starred chef, discover they have a lot in common as they prepare for a world-famous culinary competition. An international culinary competition becomes a battleground between rival cooks, one famous for his Cantonese street food and the other a Michelin-starred chef trained in France. But their rivalry takes an unexpected turn when they discover a common foe and combine their skills in a fusion of East and West.

Take a moment to reflect on all the great times and amazing experiences you had at the festival and share them with staff, guests, filmmakers and notables at the Closing Night Party. This home spun, jeans-and-tee-shirt Wine Down Wrap Party (8pm -10pm) closes out the 20th Festival.

Pass Information:
The best way to experience the Festival and have access to all films is by getting a SIFF pass. SIFF can be enjoyed at different levels. Currently Cinema Passes are $275 for and $725 for Soiree. All Cinema pass holders will have day access to the Backlot Tent in SIFF Village.  Soiree pass holders will have day VIP area and evening party access.  For information about tickets, festival passes, prices, and benefits visit

About the Sonoma International Film Festival:
The Sonoma International Film Festival is a 501(c)3 corporation dedicated to promoting independent film, supporting filmmakers around the world, and inspiring film lovers. Most films screened at the Festival have attending filmmakers and actors making for informative Q&A’s. This unique five-day event features screening venues in and around Sonoma Plaza and offers world-class cuisine from local artisans and exceptional wine from Sonoma vintners. Renowned filmmakers, industry leaders and celebrities such as Bruce Willis, Susan Sarandon, Robin Williams, John Lasseter, Danny Glover, Demián Bichir, Mary-Louise Parker, Michael Keaton and Meg Ryan have walked the festival red carpet and enjoyed its intimate ambiance.


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Allison Coats (707) 363-6508 or