Mill Valley Film Festival

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Mill Valley Film Festival
Mill Valley Film Festival logo
Location Mill Valley, California, United States
Founded 1978
Hosted by California Film Institute
Festival date October
Language International
The Rafael Film Center, one location of the Mill Valley Film Festival.

Since founding the Mill Valley Film Festival in 1977, Mark Fishkin has shepherded this once small, three-day showcase into an eleven-day, internationally acclaimed cinema event presenting a wide variety of new films from around the world in an engaged, community setting. An annual, non-competitive film festival presented by the California Film Institute, MVFF is based in Mill Valley, California and San Rafael, California, in the heart of Marin County. The 39th Mill Valley Film Festival will take place October 6–16, 2016.

For nearly four decades, the world-renowned Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF) has maintained its position as a vital showcase of the global film community, attracting iconic red-carpet talent, burgeoning filmmakers, passionate audiences and astutely curated premieres often overlooked by larger festivals. An in-demand destination for film lovers, drawn by unmatched locale and a diverse program of mainstream studio features and new visions from independent voices from around the world, MVFF also hosts an exciting array of filmmaker and industry conversations, panels, parties and live music performances, featuring the most acclaimed emerging and veteran actors, filmmakers and musicians of our time.

A destination event for cinephiles everywhere, and known for launching new films and creating awards season buzz, MVFF has earned a deserved reputation as a “filmmaker’s festival” by celebrating the best in American, independent and world cinema alongside high profile and prestigious award contenders. As the only prominent fall film festival in the San Francisco Bay Area, MVFF is also an important industry resource—both for its emphasis on films that have not yet secured US distribution and for fall launches and northern California Academy Awards campaigns.


In October 1977, Mark Fishkin and fellow film buffs Rita Cahill and Lois Cole organized a three-day film festival. It featured three film tributes, Francis Ford Coppola's The Rain People and George Lucas' Filmmaker. "We did a very innovative program that I would not be embarrassed to repeat today," Fishkin said.[1] The first official festival took place in August 1978.[2]

About the Festival[edit]

The San Francisco Bay Area continues to be a significant market for independent and international film,[1][3] and MVFF provides a forum for introducing new films to West coast audiences.[4] Over it's nearly 40 year history, MVFF has attracted a strong roster of talent, including Robin Williams, Jim Jarmusch, Kevin Smith, Jon Voight, Roberto Benigni, Alfre Woodard, Gael García Bernal, Helen Mirren, Steve McQueen, Annette Benning, Glenn Close, James Franco, Edward James Olmos, Jared Leto, Lily Taylor, Mike Leigh, Ben Stiller, Carey Mulligan, Mira Nair, Dustin Hoffman, Geoffrey Rush, Marcel Ophuls, Jane Russell, Les Blank, Barbet Schroeder, James Woods, Sissy Spacek, Jonathan Winters, Robert Altman, Nicholas Ray, Roger Corman, Jeanne Moreau, Karen Black, Barry Levinson, Sarah Silverman, Costa-Gavros, Jan Troell, William H. Macy, Milos Forman, Dianne Weist, Edward Norton, Uma Thurman, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Alan Arkin, Amanda Plummer, Darren Aronofsky, Laura Linney, Gena Rowlands, Albert Maysles, Donald Sutherland, John Sayles, Bradley Cooper, Jeff Daniels, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Helena Bonham Carter, Derek Jacobi, Ismail Merchant, Caroll Baker, Malcolm McDowell, Joan Allen, Dick Cavett, Hilary Swank, Jason Reitman, John Hawkes, Laura Dern, Elle Fanning, Felicity Huffman, Clive Owen, Eddie Redmayne, Forest Whitaker, Tim Robbins, Billy Bob Thornton, Sir Ian McKellen, Woody Harrelson, Harry Dean Stanton, Waldo Salt, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ang Lee and Brie Larson.[5]

Each year, the 11-day festival welcomes more than 200 filmmakers and 60,000 attendees from around the world. Festival sections include the Official Premiere Selection, World Cinema, US Cinema, Valley of the Docs, Children’s FilmFest, 5@5 (daily shorts programs) and Active Cinema.[1][6][7] The festival also features tributes and spotlights to acclaimed filmmakers, screenwriters and actors.[8] Screenings are usually held at the Christopher B Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael, the Sequoia Theatre in Mill Valley, the Cinema in Corte Madera, and the Lark Theatre in Larkspur.[1]

Screen International has named Mill Valley Film Festival a Top 10 US film festival.[9]

Audience Awards[edit]

2013 Sponsored by VIMEO

Overall Audience Favorite: 12 YEARS A SLAVE[10]

Audience Favorite – US Cinema: THE BOOK THIEF (Geoffrey Rush, MVFF tribute)

Audience Favorite – US Cinema Runner Up: DALLAS BUYERS CLUB (Jared Leto, MVFF tribute)

Audience Favorite – US Cinema Indie: THE RETRIEVAL

Audience Favorite – US Cinema Indie Runner Up: REDEMPTION TRAIL (view trailer)

Audience Favorite – World Cinema: PHILOMENA (view trailer)

Audience Favorite – World Cinema Runner Up: ONE CHANCE


  1. ^ a b c d Cahill, Greg (October 1–7, 1998). "A Life in Film: Mark Fishkin ushers in Mill Valley Film Fest". Sonoma County Independent. Metro Publishing. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  2. ^ "Mill Valley Film Festival 1978" (Press release). Mill Valley, CA. 1978. 
  3. ^ Zinko, Carolyne (October 9, 2004). "Mill Valley Film Festival skips prizes, keeps focus on celluloid". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2013-01-20. 
  4. ^ Manos, Gus (October 10, 2008). "Joe Wright at MVFF Insight Event". CineSource Magazine. Retrieved 2013-01-24. 
  5. ^ Vigil, Delfin (September 13, 2006). "Mill Valley Film Festival looks to be fit for royalty". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2013-01-20. 
  6. ^ "MILL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL THE UNITED STATES’ LARGEST FALL CELEBRATION OF INDIE AND INTERNATIONAL FILMS WRAPS ONE OF ITS MOST SUCCESSFUL YEARS". Archived from the original on 2008-08-07. Retrieved 2013-01-24.  External link in |work= (help)
  7. ^ Welte, Jim (August 5, 2011). "MVFF Unveils Children’s FilmFest Lineup". Mill Valley Patch. Retrieved 2013-01-24. 
  8. ^ Manos, Gus (November 27, 2008). "MVFF Tribute to Eric Roth". CineSource Magazine. Retrieved 2013-01-24. 
  9. ^ "Mill Valley Film Festival announces SHANGHAI CALLING Northern California premiere!". September 13, 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-20.  External link in |work= (help)
  10. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°58.3903′N 122°31.7152′W / 37.9731717°N 122.5285867°W / 37.9731717; -122.5285867