Mill Valley Film Festival 2013 - Opening Night

Mill Valley Film Festival 2013 kicked the week off with a bang! Mill Valley Film Festival is on its 36th year, making it a veteran festival that knows how to do it right.  Food, style, and some of the best actors in Hollywood came out to celebrate. Opening night premiered the films The Book Thief and Nebraska. The film Nebraska was directed by Alexander Payne starring actors Bruce Dern , Will Forte, and June Squibb. Nebraska is about a crazy older man with an alcohol problem and the son he barely knows who take a trip to claim the father’s Mega sweepstakes Marketing Prize. The film will be in theaters November 22, 2013.


Mill Valley Film Festival Press Conference Nebraska

The Book Thief, originally a novel written by author Markus Zusak, was adapted Michael Petroni to become a film. The Emmy Award winning director Brian Percival has also directed the series Downton Abbey, as well as other works. The film is about a girl named Liesel during WWII that would steal books and share them with her friends. Her adoptive family also is harboring a Jewish refugee, which is against all of the rules of the time. The stars in film are Sophie Nélisse, Geoffrey Rush, and Emily Watson.

Mill Valley Film Festival Sophie Nélisse

Mill Valley Film Festival Geoffrey Rush

Mill Valley Film Festival The Book Thief

Mill Valley Film Festival The Book Thief


During the press conference Geoffrey Rush, Sophie Nélisse, and Brian Percival attended for reporter's questions. They were all jovial and friendly, laughing while answering the reporter’s questions. A reporter asked director Brian Percival, “Out of all of the nine hundred and ninety nine girls that auditioned for the part of Liesel, what was it about Sophie that made you choose her?” They all smiled, including Sophie, and he replied, “It was Sophie’s spirit, energy, and truth that made her stand out.” Sophie went on to tell the reporters that she was training in gymnastics for the Olympics, but after she was cast for this role she decided to stick with acting. She is a girl with many talents.

Mill Valley Film Festival Press Conference Reporters

 Another reporter asked the actors, “Did you read the book before acting in this film?” Once again, they all smiled and laughed as if they had been caught in the act. Geoffrey responded that he had not read the book, but that he loves to read and wish he’d had. He also stated that he enjoys the feel of a book much more that the technology we have today. Sophie disagreed and said that since she grew up with technology it is something she likes more. She also went onto say that a lot of kids her age don’t like reading and neither does she unless it is something that really holds her attention. The press conference went on with more questions, jokes, and laughter. I was even able to take some photos with the talent after the press conference.

Mill Valley Film Festival Brian Percival & Denise Berry

Mill Valley Film Festival Denise Berry & Sophie Nélisse

The VIP reception had hundreds of people in attendance. There were sponsors, actors, volunteers, and guests. Live music with vendors of all sorts filled the sides of the venue in Mill Valley. Guests enjoyed the multitude of tasty treats while dancing the night away. This was just the opening night, there are more films and celebrations to come throughout the week.

Mill Valley Film Festival Gala

October 3-13, 2013

Get your tickets online at the Mill Valley Festival Website

Photography Credit: Jonathan Shensa

Styling by: Olivia Cannizzaro

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