Sonoma International Film Festival

Category - Press,2014
Posted - 03/03/2014 10:00am
Sonoma International Film Festival to Bring Stars

We were lucky enough to get a sneak peak into the upcoming 2014 Sonoma International Film Festival at the Dolby Laboratories in San Francisco last week and to say we are excited about this year’s program is an understatement! With a mixture of independent features, documentaries, world cinema, shorts and a showcase of Spanish language films, the 17th year of the festival is set to be one of the best yet.

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 9.47.26 AM

Celebrating the contributions, values and culture of the vibrant Latino community in Sonoma, the Sonoma International Film Festival (SIFF) will continue their program of a “festival within a festival,” VAMOS AL CINE – A special “cocktail of Latino cinema” with flavors from Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Argentina, Bolivia, Puerto Rico, Panama, Spain and the U.S. As an added bonus this year, there will be a series of films from around the world that feature food and highlight the culinary aspect of the festival.

The feature film, Belle, was unveiled at the preview last week and the trailer confirmed that it would one of the main highlights of the festival. According to IMDb, Belle is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mabatha-Raw), the illegitimate mixed-race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral. Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife (Emily Watson), Belle’s lineage affords her certain privileges, yet the color of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing. Left to wonder if she will ever find love, Belle falls for an idealistic young vicar’s son bent on change who, with her help, shapes Lord Mansfield’s role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England. The movie will play at the Sebastiani Theatre on Sunday April 6.

The more than 90 films, that will be showcased at the festival, are being announced daily on the SIFF Facebook page, so be sure to follow them to learn more and check out their website!

Category - Press,Grants,2014
Posted - 01/11/2014 07:52am
SIFF donates $25,000 to Media Arts program

Friday, December 27, 2013 8:32 AM
By Lorna Sheridan/Index-Tribune Education Editor

SIFF Executive Director Kevin McNeely presented Peter Hansen with a check for $25,000 at the conclusion of the high school’s annual holiday broadcast in the media arts studio. Pictured left are Jennifer Grey from SIFF, Mary Catherine Cutcliffe from SIFF, junior Kirsten Storment, junior Liam Moody, senior Kyra Hinton, junior Ciara Smith, Ginny Krieger from SIFF, McNeely, senior Cristian Carpenter, Hansen and senior Aaron Dabney.

The Sonoma Valley International Film Festival’s recent 007 Masquerade Party at Buena Vista Winery helped to generate enough funds for SIFF to donate $25,000 to Peter Hansen’s media arts program at Sonoma Valley High School.

More than a thousand students at the high school have benefited from Hansen’s program over the past 12 years. This check boosts SIFF direct donations to the high school over the past decade to almost $450,000. Thanks to contributions from the community, and SIFF in particular, the large, six-room media arts department features professional-quality audio and video equipment, a broadcast studio, control room and high-tech editing stations with specialty computers and software.

You can see the class’ holiday broadcast and work of the film students at

Link to the full article here

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