The Sonoma International Film Festival celebrates 25 years in the most beautiful and delicious ways.
When a celebration like the Sonoma International Film Festival, or SIFF, amasses 25 years, the list of accomplishments and star power is long. Past honorees and attendees include Francis Ford Coppola, Robin Williams, Susan Sarandon, Bruce Willis, Danny Glover, John Waters, Michael Keaton, Jude Law, William H. Macy and Mary-Louise Parker, among others. There’s a reason MovieMaker magazine calls SIFF “one of the 25 coolest festivals in the world” and USA Today declares it a “top 10 destination film festival.”
The festival’s organizers aren’t resting on their quarter-century laurels for the event later this month. Cinephiles can enjoy 120 films from more than 30 countries, including The Butcher’s Daughter, a French romantic comedy starring Géraldine Pailhas and Arnaud Ducret to cap the festival on closing night. Film and stage star Karen Allen also will be on hand for the festival. While in town, she’ll speak with Sonoma Valley High School filmmaking students at this year’s media arts program student showcase of short films.
In addition to celebrations for opening- and closing-night films, the festival welcomes acclaimed chefs Jacques Pépin and Joanne Weir. On Thursday, March 24, SIFF honors Pépin with its first-ever Culinary Excellence Award during a dinner program called Devour! Chefs & Shorts. The event includes multiple courses from Andrea Marino (Salumeria Ovello), Roland Passot (La Folie, Left Bank) and Seadon Shouse (The Timber Cove Resort).
The following day’s culinary showcase features Joanne Weir’s Plates and Places luncheon, where the James Beard Award-winning chef will introduce segments from her renowned PBS television series and pair locales with a three-course meal.
“Filmmakers open our eyes to worlds beyond any borders,” says Weir, who also will sign her cookbook during SIFF. “Their films can inspire curiosity and conversation—not unlike a delicious meal—and it’s an honor to be part of this incredible festival.” March 23-27