December 27, 2012

ASCAP Composers Highlight the Napa Valley Film Festival

ASCAP was a proud sponsor of the 2012 Napa Valley Film Festival. The Festival showcased the best in new independent filmmaking and world cinema. Its vision: to build community around the art of visual story-telling, with the viewing of films and discussions with filmmakers fueling lively conversation amongst old and new friends...and those conversations being enriched with the world-class food and wine of legendary Napa Valley.

This year's Napa Valley Film Festival took place November 7-11, the tail end of Napa Valley's gorgeous harvest season. It opened with the World Premiere of the documentary Somm, scored by ASCAP composer Brian Carmody. The festival included 100+ new films, 250 or more visiting filmmakers and industry executives. Screenings were held in Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga. The festival included a kick-off party, festival gala, VIP lounges, receptions, late-night parties, a wrap party and more.

 2012 Napa Valley Film Festival

ASCAP VP of Film & TV/Visual Media Shawn LeMone moderated the Scoring Independent Films: A Composer's Perspective panel, featuring ASCAP composers Brian Carmody (Somm), Josh Myers (Rising from the Ashes), Joey Newman (Any Day Now) and Cody Westheimer (How I Became an Elephant).

The festival also had an educational outreach program. As part of the 2012 Festival, the films Rising from Ashes and How I Became an Elephant were screened at local schools.

Rising from Ashes is the story about Team Rwanda, a group of young cyclists who banded together and created the first Rwandan national cycling team and their journey to the Olympics. How I Became an Elephant documents the activism of 16-year old Juliette Lewis, who started a non-profit to save Asian elephants. Screenings included Q&A with filmmakers and special appearances by Team Rwanda at local schools.

Juried and Audience Awards in a variety of categories were presented to the winning filmmakers at an awards ceremony on Closing Night. Among the night's honorees was ASCAP member Alan Cumming, who received the Mount Veeder Peak Performance Prize for his acting. He was also honored separately at a VIP Celebrity Tribute along with actors James Marsden, Imogen Poots and Adam Driver. Among the other award winners were films scored by our ASCAP panelists:

Audience Favorite - U.S. Documentary Feature
Rising from Ashes
T.C. Johnstone, Director
Josh Myers, Composer

Audience Favorite - U.S. Narrative Feature
Any Day Now
Travis Fine, Writer/Director
Joey Newman, Composer

Watch the full Scoring Independent Films: A Composer's Perspective panel at