Dog Years
Vic Edwards (Burt Reynolds) and Ariel Winter (Lil) share a moment at McDougalís Pub in DOG YEARS. Photo by Bob Franklin.

The Second Annual Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival (VBWFF) has announced the official selections for the 2017 event, held June 8 to 11 at various screening locations in Vero Beach, FL. VBWFF focuses on providing a truly unique festival, allowing guests to fully experience films with tailored wine and drink pairings, special guests and immersive viewing. Films were submitted in the categories of Documentary, Narrative, Short and NEXT UP! (young filmmakers).

Florida resident and notable actor, producer, director Burt Reynolds will be honored with VBWFF’s highest honor, the Life Worth Living Legend Award.

Reynolds founded the nearby historic Jupiter Theatre, once one of the most renowned cultural centers in South Florida, which operated as a dinner theater and local arts institution from 1979-96. In it’s prime, more stars performed at the Jupiter Theatre than any other venue in Palm Beach County, including Martin Sheen, Sarah Jessica Parker, Julie Harris and Judd Nelson.

Festival Founder and Director, Jerusha Stewart, said “We’re thrilled to be presenting award-winning actor Burt Reynolds with the VBWFF Life Worth Living Legend Award. Burt is a star among stars who’s enchanted millions with his charisma and comedic style. We’re excited and honored to present his latest film, ‘Dog Years’ in its Florida Premiere after opening at Tribeca.”

Stewart continues on the unique experiential screenings during VBWFF, “One of the things that makes VBWFF so unique is that we plan for movies to be experienced differently – whether through venue or the presentation – VBWFF is definitely a ‘Sip, See, Savor!’ experience! Unlike most festivals, we want guests to experience the film, not just watch it.”

Full list of film selections linked below, highlights include:

Dog Years
Starring Burt Reynolds and Ariel Winter, Dog Years tells the story of an aging, former movie star is forced to face the reality that his glory days are behind him.
Director: Adam Rifkin; Producer: Neil Mandt; Narrative

The Letter Carrier
Set in 1860 in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, The Letter Carrier is the story of a boy and his family hidden from slavery and a parent’s will to protect their freedom at all costs.
Director: Jesse L. Martin; Short

Finding Kukan
Filmmaker Robin Lung investigates the case of Li Ling-Ai, the un-credited female producer of KUKAN, a landmark color film that revealed the atrocities of World War II China to American audiences, and was the first-ever American feature documentary to receive an Academy Award in 1942.
Producer & Director: Robin Lung; Documentary

VBWFF experiential screenings include:

Perfume War
The multiple award winning documentary follows a single mom as she creates an unlikely weapon in the fight for world peace, turning Afghan farms from illegal opium farms into legal flower farms.
Director: Michael Melski; Documentary
* Molly Smith, Academy Award Winning Producer of La La Land, will host an intimate lunch and talk with Barb Stegemann, CEO & Founder, The 7 Virtues Beauty Inc. and star of “Perfume War.”

Narrated by actor Tim Robbins, STRAWS make its Florida premiere at VBWFF. Director and producer Linda Booker created the documentary to expose the negative impact of the billions of plastic straws that live in our landfills and oceans.
Director: Linda Booker; Documentary
*Following the screening, there will be a private sea turtle walk on the beach and a Q&A with Booker.

Discovering Dave
The story of David Drake, a South Carolina slave potter/craftsman who created beautiful pottery, including jars, during the turbulent 1800s.
Director: Mark Albertin; Documentary
*Guests will be able to view up close and handle pottery usually kept in museums under glass.

Bartender at Large
The documentary on the art of bartending and the world of craft cocktails provides a look at the modern cocktail renaissance.
Director: Erick Castro; Documentary
*Guests will take part in a cocktail demo at local hotspot, Grind + Grape, before screening.

The documentary gives a look inside one of the most intimate wine growing regions in the world, Napa Valley, as we follow the journey of new beginnings, mastering a craft, and what it takes to make it in the wine business.
Director: Nick Kovacic; Documentary

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