Press Releases

Phil Rosenthal (“Somebody Feed Phil”) Honored with Screening, Q&A, VIP Culinary Reception at  CIA at Copia and Special Tribute Dinner at Ackerman Heritage House.

Screening of Award-Winning Film “Peace by Chocolate,” Q&A with Director Jonathan Keijser

Napa, California (April 20, 2022) – The Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) announced a series of special live events that renew the mission of the organization to celebrate the cinematic arts and connect the community with independent filmmakers and storytellers, as well as with some exciting new programming. Taking place at The CIA at Copia in the heart of downtown Napa, these events kick off a food and film partnership with The Culinary Institute of America with future partners and events to be announced shortly.

“The last two years have been challenging for live events, and we welcome this opportunity to reimagine the Napa Valley Film Festival with a program of yearlong events kicking off this spring,” said Cinema Napa Valley chair Rick Garber. “The world has changed dramatically, and we are committed to adapting by presenting year-round events and a film festival while continuing to honor our legacy of connecting film, food and wine. Making all of this possible is the support we receive from such community partners as The CIA at Copia, Ackerman Family Vineyards, and Cameo Cinema.”

“We are excited to collaborate with the Napa Valley Film Festival, which shares our vision to support our community, while educating and celebrating food and wine—the very essence of our Valley,” said Thomas Bensel, managing director of CIA’s California campuses.

The NVFF Spring events confirmed, to date, include:


Friday, April 29: 6:00 p.m. Screening, 7:30 p.m. VIP Reception

The CIA at Copia’s Ecolab Theater (500 1st Street, Napa, CA)

Our inaugural 2022 event will be held in partnership with The CIA at Copia. On Friday, April 29, NVFF will present “Food, Fun, + Phil– an Evening with Phil Rosenthal,” a screening of “Oaxaca,” a new episode from series five of his show “Somebody Feed Phil” (Netflix) followed by a Q&A with our 2021 Culinary Cinema Icon Award Winner, Phil Rosenthal. Admission to the screening and Q&A is free, however due to limited seating, a ticket is required. Immediately following the Q&A there will be a food and wine reception upstairs in The CIA at Copia’s Teaching Kitchen and Mezzanine featuring special dishes from Oaxaca inspired by the episode prepared by CIA executive chef Sayat Ozyilmaz and Laura Ozyilmaz, along with assistance from CIA students. The price for the reception is $75. Tickets for both events can be reserved here.



Saturday, April 30, 6:00 p.m.

Ackerman Heritage House (608 Randolph Street, Napa, CA)

Honoring NVFF’s distinguished 2021 Napa Valley Film Festival Culinary Cinema Icon Award winner Phil Rosenthal, a special dinner will take place at the historic Ackerman Family Vineyard’s Heritage House on April 30, featuring several courses prepared by Chef Daniel Gomez, dessert by Jennifer Smith and paired with Ackerman Family wines. The event is sponsored by Ackerman Family Vineyards. Admission is $650 per person with all proceeds going to Cinema Napa Valley. Tickets may be purchased here.


Saturday, April 30, 4:30 p.m.

The CIA at Copia’s Ecolab Theater

Winner of awards from numerous film festivals this year including best feature, best director and best actor, NVFF will present “Peace by Chocolate.” After the bombing of his father’s chocolate factory, a charming young Syrian refugee struggles to settle into his new small-town life, caught between following his dream and preserving his family’s legacy. Following the screening there will be a live-stream Q&A with director Jonathan Keijser. The presentation of this film is a collaboration of NVFF, The CIA at Copia, and The Cameo Cinema. Tickets are $15 and can be reserved here.

Ticket Information

About the Napa Valley Film Festival

The Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) is an annual 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. Visit for more information on passes and festival events.

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Phil Rosenthal, 2021 NVFF Culinary Cinema Icon Award

Phil Rosenthal is the creator and host of “Somebody Feed Phil,” an unscripted documentary series on Netflix, which combines his love of food and travel with his unique brand of humor. Rosenthal created the hit CBS comedy, “Everybody Loves Raymond,” which premiered in 1996. He was the Showrunner/Executive Producer for all nine years of the show’s very successful run, which was nominated for over 70 Emmy awards, and won 15 awards, including two for Best Comedy Series in 2003 and 2005. Rosenthal’s first travel food series, “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having,” premiered on PBS and was the winner of the 2016 James Beard Award for Best Television Program, on Location.

Jonathan Keijser, Director, “Peace by Chocolate”
Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Jonathan Keijser is an award-winning storyteller. As a film director, producer, screenwriter, and professionally-trained musician, Keijser is committed to sharing uplifting stories of progressive communities and people with the goal of encouraging positive social change.


About The CIA at Copia

Presented by The Culinary Institute of America, The CIA at Copia is a gathering place to “Feed Your Joy™.” Located in the heart of Napa’s Oxbow District, here you can take a cooking or beverage class or Boot Camp in our state-of-the-art Hestan Teaching Kitchen; enjoy seasonal dishes prepared by CIA chefs in our outdoor dining spaces “Grove” and Garden Terrace; a unique, 3D animation tasting menu and exploration of Marco Polo’s Spice Trail; or simply drop in for drinks and bocce or an outdoor movie with friends. Whether you’re looking to break bread with friends, improve your culinary knowledge and skills, discover new recipes and cuisines, or make better food choices for yourself and the planet, there’s something for you at The CIA at Copia. As part of the not-for-profit Culinary Institute of America, when you dine in our restaurants, shop in our store, or take a class, you help to support future chefs.

About Ackerman Heritage House

In August of 2010, Lauren Ackerman purchased an iconic, but sadly faded 1888 Victorian known as the Gifford House. So began an illuminating journey of cautiously restoring one of Napa’s famous pink ladies to its former 19th century splendor. Located just two blocks off of downtown Napa’s iconic Main Street at 608 Randolph Street, this historic mansion stands as a reflection of the area’s rich cultural history. Now re-christened the “The Ackerman Heritage House,” this grand old lady has welcomed thousands through her doors since opening in 2015. Today, The Ackerman Heritage House has become a focal point for the downtown Napa scene and stands alone as a one-of-a-kind experience that marries the luxury of architectural design, food and wine.


The CIA at Copia, Ackerman Family Vineyards, The McClelland House, The Cameo Cinema

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Media Contact:

Ron Hofmann

Scenario Communications


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