The 8th Annual Sonoma Valley Film Festival will take place Thursday, March 31 - Sunday, April 3 in Sonoma, California. Sonoma is located 40 miles north of San Francisco, in the heart of the wine country in Northern California. Highlights of this year's Festival include one world premiere, five California and eight Northern California premieres.

Among the film industry luminaries scheduled to attend the 2005 Festival are Jon Favreau (Swingers, Elf), Joe Pantoliano (The Fugitive, The Sopranos), Aidan Quinn (Legends of the Fall, Benny & Joon), James Woods (The Virgin Suicides), and legendary Producer Saul Zaentz (The English Patient, One Flew Over the Cuckoo s Nest).

The SVFF, also known as "Cinema Epicuria" is unlike most other film festivals ... celebrating independent film-making as well as Sonoma’s epicurean pleasures of fine food, award-winning wine, fine art and the area's unparalleled natural beauty. Every day is filled with receptions, dinners and parties hosted by local restaurants and wineries in the area. No other film festival can boast of having wine and food pairings at each screening!

Unlike the bigger, industry dominated festivals (i.e. Sundance, Cannes,...), the SVFF is more laid back in that you don't have to be a celebrity to attend these daily events.

Movieweb attended the festival two years ago (for the first time) and it was a pleasant experience overall. Many film festivals we have attended (including smaller ones) are geared towards those who are "in the business" and this film festival has a certain vibe, where people can meet, drink wine and hang out with others who love movies ... and that it is somewhat easy to come up and chat with a filmmaker.

For those that equally enjoy good food, good wine, and good movies, we highly recommend taking two business days off and hanging out in Sonoma for this fun 4-day festival.

For more information about the SVFF or to purchase passes, visit Cinemaepicuria.org or contact the Sonoma Valley Film Festival at (707) 933-2600.