Sonoma International Film Festival

Category - General
Posted - 03/17/2014 06:20pm


Link to trailer:

"..Muddy Waters recorded a song called 'The Blues Had a Baby and They Named It Rock and Roll.' That, in a nutshell, is the story told in the new documentary 'Born in Chicago' — how he, Howlin’ Wolf and other black blues musicians working in Chicago in the 1960s schooled young white acolytes from that city who went on to play on some of the most influential pop recordings of the era."- Larry Rohter/NY Times    
Born In Chicago, the much lauded documentary film that tells the story of middle class white kids who learned to play and live the blues directly from its most legendary practitioners, will screen at the Sonoma International Film Festival on Friday, April 4th.  The film will be shown  at 7:30 PM at Sonoma Veterans Memorial Hall,  126 1st Street West, and will be followed by a question and answer session with a number of the film's principal musical players.  Thereafter, Chicago Blues Reunion, the band that includes Barry Goldberg, Nick Gravenites and Harvey Mandel, with Rick Reed and Gary Mallaber will perform a full concert in the hall.  It is anticipated that the band will be joined by some special guests who are also seen in the film.

Tickets for the film screening and concert event are priced at $55 and can be purchased online through the SIFF website; a limited number of VIP passes which ensure reserved seating as well an opportunity to attend a private reception with the film's principals are $100.

In the 1960s icons of urban blues, including Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, passed the musical torch to a coterie of unlikely next generation admirers, among whom were Paul Butterfield, Michael Bloomfield, Barry Goldberg, Nick Gravenites, Harvey Mandel and Corky Siegel.  These acolytes, in turn, spread the music most closely identified with Chicago around the world and back again. Their physical and spiritual journey from the suburbs and well-to-do neighborhoods into the ghetto, seeking the blues at its source, truly launched thousands of bands over the years and kept the blues a vital musical force throughout the world into the current century.  The film includes performance and interview footage featuring the aforementioned artists as well as Bob Dylan, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Steve Miller, Hubert Sumlin, Jack White, Charlie Musselwhite, Eric Burdon, Sam Lay and Elvin Bishop.
Born In Chicago was directed by John Anderson who earned a Grammy nomination for Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE.  The film was produced by John Beug who previously won an Emmy for Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival Chicago (PBS Great Performances) and worked on Grammy-winning long-form video projects for Tom Petty and the Doors. The film’s co-producer is musician Barry Goldberg; executive producers of Born In Chicago for Chicago's Out of the Box Records are Timm Martin, Chris Stewart, Bert Moreno and Elliot Rabinowitz.  Mitchell Sinoway who has worked on projects by Michael Jackson, Madonna, Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, Van Halen, Roy Orbison and many others edited Born In Chicago.  The film is narrated by Marshall Chess, scion of the family whose Chess Records label helped catalyze Chicago's post-war blues explosion.

Barry Goldberg
Nick Gravenites
Harvey Mandel 
Charlie Musselwhite
Elvin Bishop 
Marshall Chess
Corky Siegel
Sam Lay 
Jack White

*Acclaim for Born In Chicago:
"Born In Chicago sets the record straight about the mighty and tough urban blues scene that exploded from the Windy City in the 20th Century. The film also proves that many of the same musicians are still blowing harps and minds in the 21st. This is soulful stuff -- exactly what America needs to remind itself of what it used to be." Michael Simmons/MOJO/The Huffington Post
"The kids fueled their teacher’s spirits. The teachers taught their students well. It was beautiful." Dave Hoekstra/Chicago Sun-Times
"..a pean to a vanished Chicago.  Everything changes; one set of musical survivors informs another.  The music carries it." Michael Phillips/Chicago Tribune
"...a valentine to a lost scene.. reminding us of what could once be dreamed and achieved."  Gene Sculatti/Rock's Back Pages
"Fascinating archival footage is mixed with contemporary performances... Enjoy and ponder." Michael King/Austin Chronicle
"Born in Chicago is very good documentary, one of the best films I've seen all year..."  Jake Salinas/Movie Talk
"...the story of a bunch of middle-clsss white kids... who forged personal and musical relationships with Wolf, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin and other seminal Chicago bluesmen. The result was an extraordinary body of work every bit as important as chart-topping blues-influenced British Invaders like the Rolling Stones, the animals and the Yardbirds."  Michael Sigman/The Huffington Post

ABOUT the Sonoma International Film Festival:

Now in its 17th year, the Sonoma International Film Festival (April 2-6,2014) takes place in the heart of Northern California’s Wine Country and features more than 90 hand-selected films including independent features, documentaries, world cinema, shorts and a showcase of Spanish language films. All films are shown at intimate venues within walking distance on Sonoma’s historic plaza. The Festival is dedicated to promoting independent film, supporting filmmakers around the world and inspiring film lovers.
This unique 5-day event 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 and Danny Glover have walked the festival red carpet and enjoyed its intimate ambiance. 

Category - General
Posted - 02/19/2014 11:44pm
Meet Alfredo

Hi there,
My name is Alfredo and I’m back in Sonoma. After experiencing the film festival for the first time last year I fell in love and I actually did everything in my power* to come back this year.
This time around I get the chance to be more involved with it, I guess you could say my life actually revolves around the festival these days (no complaints here!).
I get to see the films (some good, some not so much) beforehand to make sure that all of you who are part of the festival get to see the very best of what SIFF has to offer.
As the film festival approaches I can’t help but feel excited. This being my second year in a row attending the festival I like to think I know what to expect. However the Sonoma International Film Festival is an ever changing coalition of the best wines in the country, amazing food and great company. So you can’t really know what’s coming, you just have to let go and enjoy the ride.
Having said that there are a few pointers I’d like to share. First of all I would recommend you buy your passes early and figure out which events you want to be a part of. The opening and closing nights are of course a must, but I find that all that happens in between is the real essence of the festival, so be sure to check out the events as they become available and get your passes ASAP!

- Alfredo.
Programming / Traffic Assistant.

*Special thanks to Claudia Mendoza for helping me make this happen.
*I hope Kevin doesn’t mind me playing with his very cool director’s megaphone.


Category - General
Posted - 02/06/2014 11:08am
Festival Film Announcements!

April 2  - 6 in Sonoma will be the destination to see World Premieres, independent, provocative films that you will not see any other place, inventive shorts, and documentaries that will amaze and educate.
Festival Film Announcements:

Man Up & Go
28 men started the Man Up Movement to travel to the depths of Africa to love big on orphans and the least fortunate of these.  In the end, the men discover their lives were impacted the most. They travel home but will they be the same?  See Trailer

Satellite BeachSatellite Beach follows the unique journey of the Endeavour space shuttle as it travels through the streets of Los Angeles to the California Science Center and the final move of the Atlantis space shuttle to the Kennedy Space Center.

Louis Cyr -  compelling biopic of the French-Canadian man who was supposedly the strongest man to live.  See Trailer

In affiliation with Everybody Is A Star Foundation, celebrate Valentine's Day at Weill Hall at The Green Music Center.  This evening will be the debut of Grammy and Golden Globe winner, Kitaro, with the Santa Rosa Symphony. Tickets: $40 - $250
Visit or phone 707.546.8742
Evening benefits Everybody Is A Star Foundation, The Sonoma Land Trust, & educational programs of Santa Rosa Symphony.


Get your PASS 

 Cinema Pass - $147*
*price increases to $175 on Feb. 15

Includes films and panels

Cinema Soirée Pass $450
 Limited Number Available
Includes First Entry to Films, VIP Hospitality Area, Tribute, most parties & receptions, & First Look

Patron Pass - $2,500
Early Entry / Reserved Seating for all films & panels, VIP Hospitality Area, all parties,  VIP dinners & Tribute
 Our sponsor friends at California Delicious have generously offered you a 15% discount on all of their baskets and products in celebration of Valentine's Day. Who likes sweet treats? ... everyone !

Use Code SIFF2014 at checkout


Or call SIFF office (707.933.2600) to order
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Sonoma International Film Society
PO Box 1613
Sonoma, California 95476

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Category - General
Posted - 12/09/2012 10:00am
Parental Guidance

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Sonoma International Film Society
PO Box 1613
Sonoma, California 95476

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