25 Years of SIFF: Sonoma International Film Festival Is Better Than Ever

Silver anniversary & the silver screen

photo: Melania Mahoney

Live and in-person is back…and there’s no better way to appreciate great cinema. 

Affectionately known as SIFF, Sonoma International Film Festival marks its Silver Anniversary with the best in films, food, wine and fun on March 23 – 27, 2022. The nonprofit arts organization is excited to embrace its second quarter-century, doubling down on dedication to promoting independent filmmakers from around the world as well as supporting passionate student filmmakers from around the corner.  

image courtesy: SIFF

Sonoma International Film Festival is one of “The 25 Coolest Festivals in the World,” says MovieMaker magazine and one of “America’s Top 10 Destination Film Festivals,” according to USA Today. The pedestrian-friendly event is staged over five days in walkable venues centered around historic Sonoma Plaza, anchored by the wonderful 1933 movie house, Sebastiani Theatre.   

A special thank you comes from everyone at SIFF to all those that supported the event through its creative pandemic pivots, ranging from SIFF Saturdays online to screenings at the drive-in.    

Films and Fun

In the 2022 festival lineup: Audiences enjoy 120 of the best in new independent cinema from 30 countries. SIFF programming includes full-length features and documentaries, as well as shorts categories: animation, comedy, culinary, documentary, dramatic and foreign. 

As always, the Sonoma International Film Festival offers many engaging and lively opportunities for ticket holders and patrons and to meet the artists, producers, actors and filmmakers at eveSIFF events including the Opening Night Party, backlot evening parties, industry mixer, VIP meet & greet and more. 

Festival fan favorite, special guest actor/director Karen Allen is coming to SIFF on March 23at 9 a.m. to talk to students and guests during the Media Arts Program Showcase.    

Food and Wine

Chef Jacques Pépin, Photo: Tom Hopkins

The legendary chef Jacques Pépin is being honored in person at SIFF’s popular Chefs & Shorts Dinner on Thursday, March 24.

Participating chefs including Michael Howell (Devour!), Roland Passot (La Folie, Left Bank), and Seadon Shouse (Timber Cove Resort), prepare a five-course dinner, pairing each dish with a short film and wines.

The occasion is the perfect alchemy for a collaboration between Sonoma International Film Festival and Devour! The Food Film Festival. 

The SIFF honorarium provides a $10,000 donation to the Jacques Pépin Foundation supporting community-based organizations by helping individuals detached from the workforce to gain confidence, skills, and employment in food service.

Chef Joanne Weir, Photo: Melissa McArdle Photography

At a luncheon on March 25, Bay Area chef Joanne Weir presents Plates & Places. On her PBS television show, the James Beard Award-winning cookbook author, international cooking teacher and renowned restaurateur takes audiences to some of her favorite culinary destinations, filmed on location. At this SIFF event, she presents the flavors of Spain, Morocco, and Greece, including some great wines and chocolates. 

Festival passes are on sale now at sonomafilmfestival.org