Sonoma International Film Festival’s SIFF 2.0 Virtual Film Festival 2020 Under Way

Siff 2.0 Film Festival 2020
(Last Updated On: August 1, 2020)

Sonoma, CA – Sonoma International Film Festival’s new SIFF 2.0 Virtual Film Festival is under way July 30-August 2, 2020. Celebrating its 23ʳᵈ year, the online showcase offers the best in new independent cinema from around the world with a robust lineup of more than 100 features, documentaries and short films that includes a selection of World, North American, US, West Coast and Northern California premieres from 20 countries.

“We took the opportunity in these unprecedented times to take SIFF’s particular brand of entertainment and community engagement and make it available online,” said Sonoma International Film Festival Executive Director Kevin W. McNeely. “Our first all virtual festival allows passholders and film lovers to experience many more films than they would in person whenever they want without ever leaving the comfort of their homes.”

The full Virtual Film Festival lineup are available at https://sonomafilmfestival.org. Existing passholders will have all access to the SIFF 2.0 Virtual catalog by reserving their screening selections in advance online; all others can preview the Virtual catalog and film trailers and may purchase a viewing for $10 per film, based on availability, or buy a SIFF 2.0 Virtual Pass for $75 at SIFF 2.0 Virtual Film Festival.

SIFF 2.0 features many World, North American, US or West Coast Premieres including SIFF Showcase films: Louise Hogarth’s ELEPHANT REFUGEES (US/Botswana/South Africa—World premiere), Elio Espana’s BANKSY & THE RISE OF OUTLAW ART (UK—World premiere), Liam Firmager’s SUZI Q (Australia—World premiere), Agustí Villaronga’s BORN A KING (UK/Spain—North American premiere), Sergio Navarretta’s THE CUBAN (Canada—West Coast premiere), and Marc Carlini’s SHE’S IN PORTLAND (US-Northern California premiere). Other films making their festival debuts include: Rahat Kazmi’s THE QUILT (India/France—US premiere), Sven Huybrechts’ U-235 (France/Belgium—US premiere) and Martin Horsky’s WOMEN ON THE RUN (Czech Republic—US premiere).

SIFF 2.0 also met its commitment to the 50/50 gender parity by 2020 film industry pledge by programming a rich selection of female-driven films that highlight women both in front of and behind the camera.

SIFF 2.0 Highlights: Female-Driven Themes, Female Directed Films

Highlights of SIFF’s female-driven themes or female directed films include Tom Dolby’s THE ARTIST’S WIFE which premiered at The Hamptons starring Lena Olin, Bruce Dern, Juliet Rylance (Strand Releasing); Unjoo Moon’s I AM WOMAN, the inspiring story of 1970’s Australian musician and activist Helen Reddy which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival; Richard Hobert’s THE BIRDCATCHER’S SON which recently won the Audience Choice Award at the Santa Barbara Film Festival; Irish director Mary McGuckian’s A GIRL FROM MOGADISHU which premiered at Dublin Film Festival; Tom Quinn’s award-winning COLEWELL starring SIFF alumni Karen Allen; Edward James Olmos’ THE DEVIL HAS A NAME, Eliza Schroeder’s British bakery drama LOVE SARAH; Rahat Kazmi’s US premiere of THE QUILT based on the celebrated Urdu short story by Ismat Chughtai; Maria Peters’ THE CONDUCTOR about a young woman’s dream of becoming a conductor; Louise Hogarth’s World premiere of ELEPHANT REFUGEES (US/Botswana/South Africa), Sabrina Aman’s Eastern Sudan refugee camp documentary, THE FORGOTTEN, and the World premiere of Liam Firmager’s documentary SUZI Q, on 70s rock icon Suzi Quatro.

As part of its selection for the 23ʳᵈ edition, SIFF has included a rich selection of international films by award-winning auteurs, many of whom have represented their respective countries at the Oscars®, including: AgustÌ Villaronga (BORN A KING- UK/Spain), Samir (BAGDAD IN MY SHADOW -Switzerland/UK/Germany), Pietro Marcello (MARTIN EDEN – Italy), Vladimir Khotinenko (THE LENIN FACTOR – Russia) and Rodrigo Bellott (TU ME MANQUES – Bolivia, a LGBTQI+ themed film).

The SIFF-supported Sonoma Valley High School Media Arts Program, highlighting the best in student filmmaking, will be available to screen during the SIFF 2.0 Virtual festival.

About the Sonoma International Film Festival

The Sonoma International Film Festival is a 501(c)3 corporation dedicated to promoting independent film, supporting filmmakers around the world, and inspiring film lovers. SIFF offers the best in independent cinema including features, documentaries and short films that include a selection of World, North American, US and Northern California premieres. Blending a program of world-class film, food, wine and fun, SIFF is celebrating its 23ʳᵈ year in 2020.

SIFF’s signature initiative – the Media Arts Program started at Sonoma Valley High School in 2002 -introduces students to the process of storytelling and provides the resources for them to create films. SIFF has granted more than $600,000 to the program since its inception.

Over the past 23 years, the Sonoma International Film Festival has received the support of many incredible sponsors. This year’s showcase sponsors include Premiere Sponsors: Dolby, Manitou Fund, Sonoma Magazine and Spritz; Star Sponsors: Bank of Marin, Cinelease, Cross Country Mortgage, Demartini Electric, Farm Fresh To You, Film Mare Island, Landmark Vineyards, Sheppard Mullin; Supporting Sponsors: Anaba Winery, Buena Vista Winery, Café Mac, Christine Benson Sonoma Valley Homes, Freidman’s, Hopmonk Tavern, Jennifer Powers Real Estate Advisor, Mead Clark, Meghan Bo Designs, Muscardini, Film Shasta, and Sonoma Valley Visitor’s Bureau; Film Sponsors: Bar None’s Canyon Winery, Benjamin Chapman, Bevan & Associates, CarePartners Initiative, Christine Curry Design, Coplan Vineyards, Eyeball Engineering, Franklin University, Julie Schindler, Krieger Brothers, Landers Curry, Inc., the McNeely Family, Music Nomad, Pets Lifeline, The Red Grape, Saul Gropman, Sonoma Valley Authors Festival, Sonoma Valley Educational Foundation, Stone Barn Farm, Susan Atherton, Sweetwater Spectrum and Unali Events. More than 150 additional sponsors also support SIFF through Epicurean, Wine, Beverage, Hospitality, Services, Media and Government support.

The best way to experience the festival, and have access to all films, is through a SIFF pass. The new SIFF Virtual Film Festival Pass is only $75 and provides online access to the virtual film catalog during the four-day, film-filled event. For information about passes, tickets and SIFF 2.0, please visit: SIFF 2.0 Virtual Film Festival.

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By Roger Robarts

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