Napa Valley Film Festival 2019 Honorees

The ninth annual Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) has announced the first round of celebrities to be feted at this year’s event, taking place November 13-17. The Grape Geeks team will be in Napa to cover the Fest; stay tuned for updates!

The festival’s tribute program salutes individuals who take on dynamic roles and take impressive risks, from rising stars who are on their way to greatness to renowned artists at the highest level of career achievement.

Kicking off the first of three days of tribute programming, on Thursday, November 14 actor and musician Kevin Bacon (City on a Hill, Mystic River) will receive this year’s Charles Krug Legendary Actor honor, actress Jillian Bell (Brittany Runs a Marathon, 22 Jump Street) will receive the Spotlight award, and actress and musician Vanessa Hudgens (Rent: Live, High School Musical) will receive the Blackbird Vineyards Visionary honor. This Celebrity Tributes program will take place at Yountville’s Lincoln Theater and include video highlight reels and an intimate on-stage conversation with each honoree.

On Friday, November 15, the festival will also honor actress and director Olivia Wilde (Booksmart, Richard Jewell) who will receive this year’s Raymond Vineyards Trailblazer award for her directorial debut, Booksmart. The award presentation will be preceded by a moderated on-stage conversation.

Finally, the third annual Rising Star Showcase presented by Materra | Cunat Family Vineyards on Saturday, November 16 will honor a handful of young talent including Kelsey Asbille (Wind River, Yellowstone), Dean-Charles Chapman (Game of Thrones, The King), Jacob Elordi (Euphoria), Kelvin Harrison Jr. (Luce, Waves), Liana Liberato (If I Stay, Light as a Feather) and Mena Massoud (Aladdin, Run This Town).

“Our tributes highlight those that share an unabashed passion for cinema in many forms throughout their careers,” said Napa Valley Film Festival CEO Tom Tardio. “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.”

Kevin Bacon is one of the foremost actors of his generation. His talent for balancing starring roles with powerful supporting characters in film, television, and on stage has allowed him to build a varied and critically acclaimed body of work. Bacon has starred in a wide range of film genres, from action thrillers to romantic comedies to heavy dramas — and even the occasional musical. Bacon currently stars in the new acclaimed Showtime series City on a Hill, which has just been renewed for a second season. He recently starred in Jill Soloway’s Amazon series I Love Dick, alongside Kathryn Hahn. His portrayal earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actor in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy. He also starred in the television movie Story of a Girl, which marked the directorial debut of his wife, Kyra Sedgwick. Upcoming, Bacon will star in the You Should Have Left, opposite Amanda Seyfried.

Jillian Bell has established herself as a leading force in television and film with her versatility in writing and acting. Jillian executive produced and stars in Brittany Runs a Marathon and will star in next year’s Bill & Ted Face the Music opposite Keanu Reeves. Since her breakout role in 22 Jump Street, her additional credits include Rough Night, Office Christmas Party, Fist Fight, Goosebumps, The Night Before, Workaholics, Eastbound & Down, Portlandia, Partners, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Idiotsitter, which she co-created and stars in. Jillian recently sold a remake of the film Splash to Disney, and can currently be seen on FOX’s animated series, Bless The Harts.

Vanessa Hudgens began her acting career at age eight, quickly gaining recognition and making her feature film debut in Catherine Hardwicke’s Thirteen. However, it was Hudgens’ breakaway sensation in Disney’s High School Musical franchise that garnered her much praise and attention. Looking to diversify her roles, Hudgens starred in films such as Frozen Ground, Spring Breakers, and Gimme Shelter. In 2015, Hudgens made her Broadway debut, starring in the title role of the beloved Oscar and Tony Award-winning film and musical, Gigi. She later returned to television, performing as Betty Rizzo in Fox’s Grease Live! and, most recently, as Maureen Johnson in Fox’s Rent Live! Hudgens will next be seen in the Netflix holiday film Knight Before Christmas which she also serves as an executive producer.  In January 2020, she will be seen opposite Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys for Life.

Olivia Wilde is a modern-day renaissance woman. An actress, director, producer, and activist, known for her work in films such as Meadowland, Her, Rush, and Drinking Buddies, Wilde recently made her directorial debut with Booksmart. Praised as one of the best films of the year, Booksmart also garnered the most wins of any film for the Los Angeles Film Critics Society’s Midseason Awards and landed her on Variety‘s 10 Directors to Watch list. Wilde recently produced and starred in this year’s drama feature A Vigilante, and will star in Clint Eastwood’s new film, Richard Jewell.

Kelsey Asbille is known for her scene-stealing role in the critically acclaimed drama Wind River. She currently stars as ‘Monica Dutton’ on Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone alongside Kevin Costner, Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley and Luke Grimes. The drama series recently wrapped its second season on Paramount Network. Asbille previously starred in Sheridan’s award-winning film Wind River opposite Jeremy Renner and Jon Bernthal. Wind River debuted at the 2017 Sundance film festival and went on to receive rave reviews from critics and audiences. Asbille’s past film roles include The Amazing Spider-Man; past television credits include a leading role on Disney’s Pair of Kings, and recurring roles on One Tree Hill and Teen Wolf. On the fashion side, Asbille was recently featured in the star-studded Louis Vuitton Pre-Fall 2019 Campaign alongside Michelle Williams, Alicia Vikander, Jennifer Connelly and Sophie Turner. The Columbia student currently resides in New York where she is studying Human Rights with an emphasis on Indigenous Rights.

Dean-Charles Chapman is a versatile young star on the rise with an impressive range of projects. Best known for his work playing the ill-fated King Tommen Baratheon on the HBO hit series Game of Thrones, Chapman can currently be seen in David Michod’s The King alongside Timothée Chalamet; the film premieres globally November 1 on Netflix. Following this, Chapman will star in Sam Mendes’ 1917, opposite George MacKay, debuting with a limited run on December 25, then opening globally January 10.

Jacob Elordi is currently a lead in Sam Levinson’s HBO hit drama series Euphoria, which was announced to be renewed for a second season. Last year, Elordi garnered attention playing the charming football star Noah Flynn in Netflix’s The Kissing Booth. Since its release, the film has gone on to become one of Netflix’s most watched movies and launched Elordi’s career, putting him at #1 on the IMdB STARmeter and naming him as one of IMdB’s Top Break Out Stars of 2018.

Kelvin Harrison Jr. is bringing to life some of the most dynamic and diverse characters on screens both big and small. Audiences first fell in love with Harrison in his leading roles in All Rise (fka Monster) and Monsters and Men at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. He captivates as the lead of the drama Luce, in which he plays the lead role opposite Octavia Spencer, Tim Roth, and Naomi Watts. Next up, Harrison stars in the A24 drama Waves, which has garnered Oscar buzz at both Telluride and Toronto International Film Festivals.

Liana Liberato can currently be seen in a leading role on the Hulu series Light as a Feather. Liberato stars opposite Tony Hale and Malin Akerman in the indie To The Stars that premiered to rave reviews at Sundance 2019. Earlier in 2018, Liberato was seen in the indie feature Measure of a Man opposite Judy Greer, Luke Wilson, and Donald Sutherland. She first garnered critical acclaim at the age of 14 for her performance in Trust opposite Clive Owen and Catherine Keener.

Mena Massoud is a young actor, making his mark with distinct choices in film and television. Currently, Massoud can be seen worldwide, starring in the title role of the hugely successful Disney live-action reimagining of Aladdin, directed by Guy Ritchie, and co-starring Will Smith and Naomi Scott. In December, Massoud will be seen starring in the new Hulu drama series Reprisal, co-starring Abigail Spencer and Rodrigo Santoro, as well as in NVFF19 feature film Run This Town, alongside Ben Platt, Nina Dobrev, and Damien Lewis.

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 13-17, 2019. Visit for more information on passes and festival events.

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