The Sonoma International Film Festival (SIFF) highly anticipated 20th Anniversary celebration will open on Wednesday, March 29 with The Promise starring Christian Bale and Angela Sarafyan. Set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, The Promise follows a love triangle between Michael, a brilliant medical student, the beautiful and sophisticated Ana, and Chris – a renowned American journalist based in Paris.
The five-day event takes place in the heart of Northern California’s Wine Country and will feature more than 130 hand-selected films including independent features, documentaries, world cinema and short films.
”We are excited and prepared for an unprecedented number of filmmakers and festival attendees to come to Sonoma and experience the very best in film, food, wine and spirits,” enthused Executive Director Kevin McNeely.
One of the festival highlights is the Student Showcases on Thursday, March 30 and again the following Sunday afternoon. Peter Hansen, the director of the Media Arts Program at Sonoma Valley High School has selected Owen Summers stop action claymation film Magic Beans to be accepted into the Sonoma International Film Festival. Owen is a senior at Sonoma Valley High School.
Kiara Ramirez will be awarded the inaugural SIFF Emerging Artist Award. This award has been selected for post-high school filmmakers who exemplify the spirit of independent filmmakers with career aspiration in the film arts. Kiara is a 2016 graduate from Mendocino High School. Her first film, which she has produced and directed, is “mini-doc” Behind the Wall.
Cook Up A Storm will close out the festival on Sunday, April 2. A Cantonese street cook and his chief rival, a French-trained Michelin-starred chef, discover they have a lot in common as they prepare for a world-famous culinary competition. An international culinary competition becomes a battleground between rival cooks, one famous for his Cantonese street food and the other a Michelin-starred chef trained in France. But their rivalry takes an unexpected turn when they discover a common foe and combine their skills in a fusion of East and West.