Every mid-April, somnolent, sun-dappled Sonoma Square transforms. A large white tent blossoms next to City Hall. Signs go up all over. Trucks scurry in, like ants, unloading chairs, tables, lights, music electronics, food, wine. Badged people amble all over. The annual Sonoma International Film Festival is here!

Film, Wine, Food, Fun – What to do?
This festival of film, wine, food and people is an embarrassment of riches – and much fun. A cruise ship on land with more options every festival day than you can possibly fit in (even with several doppelgängers helping out). Interesting films, some provocative – many World and US Premieres. Great wine (you are after all in the center of Sonoma wine country), stimulating Q&As and discussions. The red carpet celebrity frisson tops it off.

Highlights
Much to select from. South of the Border films. Movies from over 30 countries. Shorts, documentaries, features, world cinema, animation. 7 screening venues – traditional theatre seating, intimate pub setting, lounge/club style – vary your viewing experience. Easy walking (re-energizes you) between venues. Perhaps catch a friendly lift to make it even easier. Between films everyone relaxes and chats about film in the Backlot Tent where music, wine, beer and casual foods complete the scene. On the final night, the exciting Awards Ceremony / Closing Party is held here.

See what we chose to do. You will probably do it differently. Perhaps, squeeze in visits to Square shops and restaurants or drive country lanes up into the hills for views of the valley (sometimes San Francisco), the vineyards and to get the flavor of “wine country living”. Many options here – all good!

Day 1 Jun30

Day 1

leisurely drive through Sonoma to Sonoma Square and arrive early afternoon. We’ve arranged an apartment through Airbnb. Key is under the doormat — we go in, unpack quickly, change into festive garb and are off on our film festival adventure. 4 pm drive briefly around...

Day 2 Jun29

Day 2

breakfast in apartment, then pick up Festival passes – and start on our first full Festival day noon brunch, schmooze, socialize at Maysonnave House 3 pm see We the Nobles at Vintage House 5:45 pm see The Fourth Noble Truth at Sebastiani Theatre 8 pm stop...

Day 3 Jun27

Day 3

we lazily lounge in apartment and revive before heading off to Maysonnave House to catch up on Festival happenings. 11:15 am see Volcano at Sebastiani Theatre 1 pm attend Industry Mixer at Hopmonk Tavern 4:45 pm see The Human Experiment at Burlingame Hall 6:45 pm party...

Day 4 Jun27

Day 4

9 am Media Breakfast We attend a press briefing while buffet breakfasting — fuels us up for another movie-filled big day. 9:30 am attend Media & Filmmakers Breakfast at Taste of the Himalayas 11:00 am attend Industry Panel – Making Media That...

Day 5 Jun26

Day 5

quick breakfast in our apartment, then off to very early movie 9:30 am see In the Magic of the Green Mountains at Burlingame Hall 11:30 am stop by Maysonnave House to brunch, schmooze, socialize 1:15 pm see Taking My Parents to Burning Man at Murphy’s Irish...