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Cinema Napa Valley and Napa Valley Film Festival Announces Appointment of Michael Polenske as CEO & Creative Director


“Dinner and a Movie” Series on November 12-14, 2020 and “Napa Valley Film Festival Alumni Streaming Series” on November 11-15, 2020 Also Announced 10th Napa Valley Film Festival Will Take Place November 10-14, 2021

Napa Valley, CA (November 6, 2020) – Cinema Napa Valley (CNV) announces the hiring of Michael Polenske as their new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Creative Director. Polenske assumes the role immediately and is responsible for overseeing the creative direction of Cinema Napa Valley and the Napa Valley Film Festival.

The announcement was made by CNV chairman Patrick Davila who commented “We are thrilled to welcome Michael as the CEO of Cinema Napa Valley. His contributions to the Napa Valley area and the vast and profound relationships with Vintners, local organizations and non-profits make him the perfect steward for the organization. Michael brings to the organization many years of experience, his business acumen, and his artistic sensibility that will propel us toward a bright future.”

“I am excited to join Cinema Napa Valley in a leadership role,” said Michael Polenske. As some of you know I was one of the original founders of Festival Napa Valley and I’m looking forward to turning my attention to Cinema Napa Valley and the Napa Valley Film Festival.”

Cinema Napa Valley also announced a special in-person “Dinner and a Movie” Series taking place November 12–14, 2020. The series will feature three films that played at the festival in previous years with special virtual appearances from the films’ filmmakers and stars. The Year of Spectacular Men will screen on November 12 with Lea Thompson, Madelyn Deutch and Zoey Deutch participating, Stage Mother with Jacki Weaver presenting on November 13, and Cold Book on November 14 with William Fichtner presenting. The Mount View Hotel and Spa in Calistoga will host the intimate gatherings, featuring delicious cuisine from restaurant Veraison and great wines from Napa Valley Film Festival’s Vintner Circle partners. Tickets for the event are $150.00 for two people and include the film, dinner and wine, and can be purchased at www.napavalleyfilmfest.org.

Brought to attendees via the festival’s new streaming platform, “Napa Valley Film Festival Alumni Streaming Series” presented by Cadillac was also added to this year’s programming and enables the Festival to provide programming throughout the year. The first Alumni Series will kick off on November 11–15, 2020 with six award-winning films from 2018-2019. These Festival favorites represent the breadth and content NVFF has become known for, such as Cold Brook, Lucky Grandma, The Year of Spectacular Men, Spare Room, Last Call and Stage Mother. Tickets are available as a 3-Movie Pack for $35.00 or an All-Movie Pass for $60.00. Additional details can be found here: https://www.napavalleyfilmfest.org/attend/festival-alumni-series-2020/.

Polenske currently serves as the Creative Director, Chairman and Founder of the ÆRENA Galleries & Gardens with locations in downtown Napa, St. Helena and Healdsburg as well as the sculpture garden at Auberge du Soleil. In addition, he is the founder of Bespoke Collection comprised of three highly regarded wine projects: Blackbird Vineyards, ÆRENA Wines and Recuerdo Wines. Bespoke Collection has created private label wines for musicians such as The Foo Fighters, The Killers and Martina McBride, as well as global brands like Lyft, Morton’s Steakhouse and Salesforce. In 2008, Polenske created the world-renowned Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley, which he sold to RH in 2014. Previously, Polenske had a career in financial services and served as President and CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank & Trust Co., N.A., heading up the private banking business in the western U.S. Philanthropically active, Polenske is a founding board member of Festival Napa Valley, which celebrates the art of life with components of music, art, food and wine.

The 10th Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) will take place November 10–14, 2021 and is a five-day immersive experience celebrating the best new independent films of the year, accompanied by Napa Valley’s world-class food, wine and hospitality. Visiting filmmakers interact with audiences at screenings and intimate events while enjoying industry panels, culinary demonstrations, wine-tastings, festival parties, and more. For more information visit www.napavalleyfilmfest.org.

About the Napa Valley Film Festival

The Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) is presented by Cinema Napa Valley, a registered 501c3 non-profit organization headquartered in Napa, California. Cinema Napa Valley’s mission is to celebrate the cinematic arts and enrich the community by presenting an annual world-class festival and year-round education and outreach programs. The Napa Valley Film Festival will be held November 10-14, 2021. Visit www.napavalleyfilmfest.org for more information or call 707.226.7500.


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