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Napa Valley Film Festival Announces 2021 Honorees

Film Awards Winners Include Caitriona Balfe (Spotlight Award), Jamie Dornan (Spotlight Award), Harvey Keitel (Icon Award), Marlee Matlin (Trailblazer Award), and Odessa Young (Rising Star Award)
Culinary Cinema Award Winners are David Gelb (Excellence in Culinary Cinema), Phil Rosenthal (Culinary Cinema Icon Award), and Jon Taffer (Culinary & Spirits Cinema Spotlight)
“Bar Rescue,” “Children of a Lesser God,” “CODA,” “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” “Lansky,” “Somebody Feed Phil” and more join screening line-up
Cinema Napa Valley announced the annual Napa Valley Film Festival’s (NVFF) filmmaker tribute line-up taking place virtually at this year’s event November 10-14. A new series of “Culinary Cinema Awards” will make its debut at this year’s festival paying tribute to remarkable achievements in storytelling devoted to food, wine, and spirits as well the “Napa Valley Filmmaker Awards” honoring some of this year’s leading talent. All the video tributes will follow screenings of their work and include an intimate conversation with each honoree.
“Our tributes highlight those that share an unabashed passion for cinema in many forms throughout their careers,” said Cinema Napa Valley Chairman Rick Garber. “We recognize and acknowledge not only their personal accomplishments and critical thinking, but also their career achievements. We embrace their artistic vision, innovation, creativity, and groundbreaking originality. We are honored to include them in our festival program.”
As is tradition, each honoree is presented with a special bottle of wine from a festival sponsor signifying the mutual commitment to craft and art. The roster of talent being recognized this year includes:
Caitriona Balfe (Spotlight Award for work in “Belfast”)
Irish-born actress Caitriona Balfe is a BAFTA award winner, four-time Golden Globe nominee, Oscar Wilde Award recipient and two-time People’s Choice Award winner. She has cultivated a voracious fan-following from her powerful and compelling performance as ‘Claire Fraser’ in Starz's prolific drama series Outlander, for which she also serves as a producer. Upcoming, Balfe will star opposite Jamie Dornan in Belfast, which will release in the US on November 12th. Balfe recently acquired the film rights to adapt author Sarah Crossan’s novel Here Is the Beehive. Balfe starred as the female lead opposite Matt Damon and Christian Bale in Oscar-nominated film Ford v Ferrari. Balfe also voiced the role of ‘Tavra’ in Netflix’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. She co-starred opposite George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Jack O’Connell in the Sony thriller Money Monster and her other credits include Escape PlanNow You See MeSuper 8 and the limited digital series H+Presented by Okapi following exclusive film clips of “Belfast.”
Jamie Dornan (Spotlight Award for work in “Belfast”)
Jamie was born and brought up in Belfast. His film debut was in Marie Antoinette with Kirsten Dunst. Most recently, he received critical reviews for his performance in A Private War with Rosamund Pike, and he wowed audiences everywhere with his surprising comedic turn in this year’s hit Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar opposite Kristen Wiig.  His other film credits include Anthropoid, The Siege of Jadotville and Endings, Beginnings. His television roles include a lauded lead role in The Fall, My Dinner with Hervé with Peter Dinklage and Death and Nightingales. Presented by Okapi following exclusive film clips from “Belfast.”
Harvey Keitel (Icon Award)
American actor and producer Harvey Keitel was born in Brooklyn, New York City. An Oscar Nominee and Golden Globe Award Winner, he was recently seen in Martin Scorsese’s 2020 Oscar Nominated film “The Irishman.” Harvey has appeared in films such as Scorsese's “Mean Streets,” “Taxi Driver,” “The Last Temptation of Christ,” “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,”  Ridley Scott's “The Duellists,” “Thelma & Louise,” Robert Altman's “Buffalo Bill and the Indians,” Allan Rudolph’s “Welcome To L.A.,” Abel Ferrara's “Bad Lieutenant,” “Peter Yates' “Mother, Jugs & Speed,” Lina Wertmüller’s “A Complicated Story…,” Bertrand Tavernier’s “Death Watch,” Ettore Scola’s “New World,” Quentin Tarantino's “Reservoir Dogs,” and “Pulp Fiction,” Jane Campion's “The Piano” and “Holy Smoke,” Wayne Wang’s “Smoke,” Robert Rodriguez's “From Dusk Till Dawn,” James Mangold's “Cop Land,” Jon Turtletaub’s “National Treasure,” Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Isle of Dogs” and Paolo Sorrentino's "Youth.” Presented by Mount View Hotel following a screening of “Lansky.”
Marlee Matlin (Trailblazer Award)
Marlee Matlin is the youngest Academy Award Winner for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her work in Children of a Lesser God. Her film CODA premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and earned a record breaking 4 awards including Cast, Jury and Audience, as well as setting new record in its sale to Apple. The film also won 2021 Sundance Film Festival: London BIFA Award.  Marlee is the executive producer of Oscar Nominated short film Feeling Through. Her previous work in Reasonable Doubts, nominated her twice for a Golden Globe Award and a People’s choice Award. Since then, she received nominations for four Emmy awards for her appearances on “Seinfeld,” “Picket Fences,” “The Practice,” and “Law and Order: SVU.” Marlee’s other notable TV credits include critically acclaimed series, "West Wing," "The L Word," and "Family Guy" just to name a few. Presented by Charles Krug following a screening of “Children of a Lessor God” and “CODA.”
Odessa Young (Rising Star Award)
Odessa Young is currently in production on the HBO Max limited series, “The Staircase,” based on the true-crime docuseries by the same name. Young will star alongside Colin Firth, Sophie Turner, and Toni Collette.  Next up, Young will star as Jane Fairchild in Eva Husson’s Mothering Sunday, alongside Josh O’Connor. The film, adapted by Alice Birch from Graham Swift’s acclaimed novel by the same title, has screened at Cannes Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, London Film Festival, and Rome Film Festival to overwhelmingly positive reviews and will premiere in the US on February 25, 2022. Last year, Young starred opposite Elisabeth Moss and Michael Stuhlbarg in Josephine Decker’s Shirley. Also last year, Stand appeared in the CBS All Access limited event series “The Stand,” adapted from Stephen King’s novel; and in Noah Buschel’s “The Man in the Woods.” Presented by Grounded Wine Co. following exclusive clips from “Mothering Sunday.”
Presented by Cinema Napa Valley, this year launches the Culinary Cinema Awards honoring leading filmmakers’ work featuring the culinary arts. “We are excited to introduce a new category of awards that focuses on storytelling around culinary, wine and spirits, something that speaks dearly to those of us who call Napa our home,” said Garber.
David Gelb (Excellence in Culinary Cinema)
David Gelb is an Emmy and Grammy-nominated producer, director and founding partner of Supper Club, a production company. Best known for his critically acclaimed documentary feature Jiro Dreams of Sushi, he is also the creator of the Netflix award-winning series “Chef’s Table,” now in its eighth season and co-creator of Street Food.  Most recently, Gelb has produced numerous series and films with his production company, Supper Club, including the Disney+ feature documentary Wolfgang, chronicling the life of celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck. Presented by Vineyard 511 following a screening of “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.”
Phil Rosenthal (Culinary Cinema Icon Award)
Phil Rosenthal is the creator and host of “Somebody Feed Phil,” an unscripted documentary series on Netflix, which combines his love of food and travel with his unique brand of humor. Rosenthal created the hit CBS comedy, “Everybody Loves Raymond,” which premiered in 1996. He was the Showrunner/Executive Producer for all nine years of the show's very successful run, which was nominated for over 70 Emmy awards, and won 15 awards, including two for Best Comedy Series in 2003 and 2005. Rosenthal co-wrote “America: A Tribute to Heroes,” the 9/11 telethon which aired on all four networks in September 2001, for which he won a Peabody Award and an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing. In April 2011, Rosenthal wrote, directed and starred in his first feature film for Sony Pictures. “Exporting Raymond,” whichwas met with critical acclaim. Rosenthal’s first travel food series, “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having,” premiered on PBS and was the winner of the 2016 James Beard Award for Best Television Program, on Location. Presented by Ackerman Family Vineyards following a screening of “Ratatouille” and “Somebody Feed Phil.
Jon Taffer (Culinary & Spirits Cinema Spotlight)
Jon Taffer is the creator, host and executive producer of Paramount Networks’ number-one show, Bar Rescue a non-scripted reality show that spotlights Jon as he saves failing bars from looming closure that’s in its eighth season and surpassed over 200 episodes in 2021. In addition to being a New York TimesLos Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author, Jon also launched Taffer’s Mixologist a line of craft, high-quality, pre-made cocktail mixes and hard seltzers available direct to consumers and in retail stores across the country. Taffer also runs Taffer Dynamics, his business operations firm where he offers dynamic models for a range of well-known establishments and brands. His latest venture is Taffer’s Tavern, a restaurant concept that uses the latest technologies to produce elevated tavern food and beverage offerings without the need for a traditional commercial kitchen. The franchise’s first location opened October 2020 in Atlanta, GA, with additional locations in development across the country. Presented by Mount View Hotel following a screening of “Bar Rescue.”
Available images of this year’s roster of honorees and films can be found:
The line-up of previously announced films can be found here:
Ticket Information
Five-day passes will be available for viewing this year’s films as follows:
  • Full Access Pass: Unlimited access to the entire schedule of films and tributes is $99.
  • Short Film Pass: Unlimited access to the line-up of short films only is $25.
For more information visit  
About the Napa Valley Film Festival
The Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) is a five-day celebration that blends the art of film, food, and wine together. Discover the best new independent films of the year, savor exquisite cuisine paired with legendary wines, and create lasting memories found only in the Napa Valley. The Napa Valley Film Festival is presented by Cinema Napa Valley, a registered 501c3 non-profit organization headquartered in Napa, California. Cinema Napa Valley’s mission is to celebrate the cinematic arts and enrich the community by presenting an annual world-class festival and year-round education and outreach programs. The Napa Valley Film Festival takes place November 10-14, 2021. Visit for more information on passes and festival events.
Ackerman Family Wines, Charles Krug Winery, Fandor, Mount View Hotel, Okapi, and Vineyard 511


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