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36th Annual Mill Valley Film Festival Heads Into Its Second Week

independent film, entertainment, film festival, film events, film reviews

with Ben Stiller, Jared Leto, Steve McQueen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyongó, Andy Garcia, Vera Farmiga and Many More

The 36th annual Mill Valley Film Festival (10/03 – 10/13) is mid-way through another fantastic year. The 11-day festival, which so far has showcased some amazing films, including the World Premiere of Brian Percival’s The Book Thief, starring Geoffrey Rush, and Alexander Payne’s new film Nebraska. There’s still plenty more to come including Oscar® hopefuls; World, US and California film premieres; musical events and talent appearances, which include filmmakers from around the globe; and film industry panels.

The caliber of talent who have appeared during the first five days of the Festival, including Geoffrey Rush, Bruce Dern, Will Forte, Costa-Gavras and Sean Penn to name a few, has been overwhelming – and we still have six days to go, with scheduled appearances by John Wells (August: Osage County), Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club), Steve McQueen, Chiwetel Ejiofor & Lupita Nyongó (12 Years A Slave), Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga (At Middleton), Christopher Lowell (Veronica Mars, Enlisted) and the cast from Beside Still Waters, Stephen Dorff (The Motel Life, Zaytoun) and closing night with a tribute to Ben Stiller (The Secret Live of Walter Mitty).

With Academy Awards® season quickly approaching, and Northern California having the largest concentration of voting Academy members outside of Los Angeles, the California Film Institutes’ Mill Valley Film Festival has become an important stop in the national film festival scene. Four out of the last five Academy Award® winning Best Pictures (Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech, The Artist and Argo) premiered at the Mill Valley Film Festival.

Here’s a quick look at upcoming events:

Tuesday, October 8

  • 6:30 PM at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael
  • US Premiere of the Weinstein Company’s August: Osage County, which will be followed by a Centerpiece/Spotlight on director John Wells. The program will include an on stage interview and presentation of the MVFF Award.
  • Following the screening and award presentation, there will be a reception at PIzza Antica (800 Redwood Hwy., Strawberry Village, Mill Valley)

Thursday, October 10

  • 6:30 PM at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael
  • US Premiere of Focus Features’ upcoming release, Dallas Buyers Club. Following the screening, Jared Leto will be honored with a Spotlight program, including an on stage interview and presentation of the MVFF Award.
  • Following the screening and award presentation, there will be a reception at Farmshop (2233 Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur)
  • 8:00 PM at the 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley
  • Acclaimed music and technology innovator Thomas Dolby’s directorial debut, The Invisible Lighthouse, will have its US premiere at the Festival. For this special screening, Dolby will perform live to picture in collaboration with Academy Award®-nominated music designer/supervisor and bassist Blake Leyh (Treme, The Wire, The Abyss).
  • Confirmed guests include Grammy-winning musician/producer Don Was, cellist/composer Zoe Keating, singer/songwriter Dan Hicks and Grammy and Emmy winning musician/producer Narda Michael Walden
  • 8:00 PM at the CineArts@Sequoia in Mill Valley
  • Director Christopher (Toby) McLeod will be in attendance for the World Premiere of his four part documentary series, being shown over a three day period, Standing on Sacred Ground, each of the screenings will be followed with a Q&A featuring Toby McLeod and other invited guests appearing in the series.
  • The series will continue on Saturday, October 12, 3:00 PM at the 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley and Sunday, October 13, 2:15pm at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael.

Friday, October 11

  • 6:30 PM at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael
  • Filmmaker Steve McQueen and actor’s Chiwetel Ejiofor & Lupita Nyongó will be in attendance for the California Premiere of 12 Years A Slave. Following the screening, in a Mill Valley Film Festival first, both Steve McQueen and Chiwetel Ejiofor will be presented with the MVFF Award. Lupita Nyong´o will join Steve and Chiwetel for an onstage interview following the award presentation.
  • After the screening and Spotlight program there will be a reception at Guideboat Co. (129 Miller Ave., Mill Valley)
  • 8:00 PM at the Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley
  • Tribute Concert featuring musicians from the film, Sweet Blues: A Film About Mike Bloomfield, alongside special guests, including musical director/guitarist Jimmy Vivino (The Conan O’Brien Show) and producer/keyboardist Barry Goldberg (Electric Flag), who together will lead an all-star band and jam featuring guitarist Nick Gravenites (Electric Flag) and award-winning vocalist Maria Muldaur.
  • Additional special guests to be announced.

Saturday, October 12

  • 11:00 AM at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael
  • Variety Focus on Directors panel discussion with J.C. Chandor (All Is Lost, Margin Call), Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station), Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart, Out of the Furnace), Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave, Hunger, Shame) and John Wells (August: Osage County, The Company Men)
  • 5:00 PM at the CineArts@ Sequoia in Mill Valley
  • Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga will be in attendance for the California Premiere of At Middleton. Following the screening Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga will be joined by Director/Co-writer Adam Rodgers and Co-writer Glenn German for an audience Q&A.
  • 6:30 PM at the CineArts@Sequoia in Mill Valley
  • World Premiere of actor turned director, Christopher Lowell’s directorial debut, Beside Still Waters, Christopher Lowell and the entire cast will be in attendance and participate in an audience Q&A following the screening
  • 8:30 PM at the Tiburon Tavern (1651 Tiburon Blvd., Tiburon)
  • At Middleton and Beside Still Waters premiere party with talent from both films scheduled to attend

Sunday, October 13 – Tribute to Ben Stiller & Closing Night

  • 5:00 PM at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael
  • Screening of The Secret Live of Walter Mitty begins.
  • Ben Stiller will participate in an onstage conversation with MVFF Executive Director, Mark Fishkin, and be presented with the MVFF Award.
  • 5:00 PM at the CineArts@Sequoia in Mill Valley
  • Ben Stiller photo op and press line at the Sequoia Cinema in Mill Valley
  • 5:15 & 5:30 PM at the CineArts@Sequoia in Mill Valley
  • Ben Stiller will introduce the screenings of 20th Century Fox’s upcoming release The Secret life of Walter Mitty
  • 7:30 PM – Closing Night Party at the Maplelawn Estate at the Elks Lodge (1312 Mission Ave., San Rafael), local filmmakers, celebrities and talent from the opening night films will be in attendance.