The Napa Valley Film Festival was founded by Brenda and Marc Lhormer. Brenda and Marc previously served as co-directors of the Sonoma Valley Film Festival from 2001 – 2008. They also produced the feature film Bottle Shock, which tells the story of Napa Valley’s triumph at the 1976 wine-tasting competition in Paris. After Bottle Shock’s world premiere at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, Brenda and Marc turned their attention to creating a world-class film festival in Napa Valley.
Brenda and Marc envisioned a Fall film festival that would exhibit the year’s best new independent films and likely awards season contenders, while simultaneously leveraging Napa Valley’s outstanding food, wine, and hospitality. They created a cultural arts organization that would support the art of cinematic storytelling while also providing educational and career opportunities for local students. Brenda and Marc presided over the growth and development of the festival as Co-Director and Executive & Artistic Director (respectively) from 2009 – 2018.