Sonoma Sun Event Calendar

Wine Country Film Festival Sept. 22-24

Saturday September 23rd -

The 31st annual Wine Country Film Festival (WCFF) brings together a stellar program of international cinema, and an array of engaging conversations with attending filmmakers, running Sept. 22-24 at various venues in the Valley of the Moon. There will be a seminar with world-renown sommelier Charlie Arturaola, an Opening Night Derby Outfit contest, and some of the world''s best wines and delicious food prepared specially to complement the movies.

WCFF''s "Films al Fresco™" program presents three international features in Glen Ellen. Other venues are the historic Kenwood Depot and the event room at the Kenwood Fire Station.

Grand Opening Night, Friday, Sept. 22, features the film Kincsem, a Hungarian production, that will have its international premiere and screen outdoors under the stars at Quarryhill Botanical Garden. The film is the true story of romance and intrigue following Kincsem, the most successful Thoroughbred racehorse ever. Moviegoers are invited to don their best derby outfits. Derby contest winners will get two tickets to the festival''s closing night film Tour de France, an amiable mismatched-buddy road movie that throws together veteran acting legend Gerard Depardieu and rapper Sadek. Admission to opening night is $25.

At Quarryhill, wines are offered by the glass or bottle. Please, no outside alcohol or food. Credit cards are accepted. Rainy Day Chocolate & Catering, the exclusive WCFF food vendor, will prepare a special menu each night to complement the various films'' country of origin. Some chairs are provided on a first come, first served basis. Low-back chairs and blankets are welcome. Gate opens at 6 p.m., and films screen at 7:30 p.m. Wear comfortable shoes, bring a jacket (nights get cool) and a flashlight.

Wine Seminar and film

There is a three-hour seated tasting seminar with world-renown Sommelier Charlie Arturaola and Sommelier Christopher Sawyer, an American ambassador for the Concours Mondial du Brussels, and Michael Traverso, senior brand manager for Wilson Daniels in Healdsburg, will introduce wines from the grapes of the Italo-Argentinean comedy The Duel of Wine about a sommelier (starring Arturaola) who has lost his sense of taste. The comedy screens at Quarryhill later that night. Admission to the film only is $20.

“Taste your Senses - The Family Wines of The Duel” seminar includes eight tastes of wines that are featured in the film including Arnaldo Caprai (Umbria), Champagne Gosset (France), Venissa (Veneto), Txakoli (Basque), Chianti Classico, Rioja Alavesa, Malbec Catena, among others. Runs 2-5 p.m., $75 per person at Quarryhill. Reservations are required. Seating is limited.Reservations are required. Visit for tickets.

Master class
Don''t miss Inuit Lands: The Melting Point, on Sept. 23, 5 p.m. at the Kenwood Depot. Traveling across Greenland from 2011 through 2013 documentary filmmaker Patrick Morell creates a tribute to the internationally renowned French explorer, geomorphologist and ethno historian Jean Maluarie and his lifetime study of the Arctic people. The film exposes the changes affecting the small hunting and fishing communities of northern Greenland today, including globalization, market economies, and climate change. Q&A with filmmaker after the film. Admission $10.

Morell, a freelance documentary cinematographer and director dedicates his films to deepening the understanding of the human experience. Raised in France and graduated from the Sorbonne with degrees in philosophy and journalism, he will give a master class on documentary filmmaking on Sunday, Sept 24, 9 a.m. at the Depot. Admission $10.

Pick up a program guide at a WCFF venue or go online to Individual film tickets ($10-$40 ) can be purchased day of show (cash only) Advance tickets at are available at