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MVFF Opening Night Films and Gala

The start of the NBA season — and hopefully more Warriors domination — plus Halloween and all the fun that comes with the holiday, are plenty of reasons to be excited about October. In Marin, however, the biggest deal this month is the 40th annual Mill Valley Film Festival. Spanning 10 days and featuring over 200 filmmakers from over 50 countries, the event truly offers something for everyone. This year the fete kicks off on Thursday with Darkest Hour and the documentary Wait for your Laugh, but aside from screenings, guests also get a chance to sit in on intimate Q&As with actors and directors, listen to panels, go on a hike and attend to parties, as well.

In Darkest Hour, director Joe Wright tells the story of Winston Churchill’s rise to power both as Prime Minister and as architect of the push against the imminent, inevitable Nazi invasion of Britain in WWII. The feature stars Kristin Scott Thomas as Churchill’s wife Clementine — Kristin Scott Thomas and director Joe Wright will be in attendance. Wait for your Laugh highlights the career of one of the most brilliant comediennes of the last century, Rose Marie. A child prodigy, singing and dancing on stage before most kids could ride a bike she grew up to be Rose Marie aka Sally Rogers on The Dick Van Dyke Show. Filmmaker Jason Wise and actor Peter Marshall will be in attendance.

But the party doesn’t stop when the theater lights go on. From 9 p.m. to midnight, there will be festivities throughout the Marin Country Mart with tenants opening their doors into the night. Wonderbread 5 will be performing and bites will be available from Farmshop, Fisher’s Cheese & Wine, Wise Sons, Belcampo, El Huarache Loco and other local purveyors and wineries. The party will also include a movie showing of John Sanborn’s “Entre Vous et Moi,” created specifically for the opening night, on a loop under the big tent. Sanborn’s works have been shown at almost every contemporary art museum in the world, including the Whitney Museum. Don’t miss it!

If You Go:

When: Thursday, October 5 from 7 p.m. to midnight
Where: Century Cinema in Corte Madera, Cinearts Sequoia in Mill Valley, Marin Country Mart in Larkspur
Cost: $55 - 125

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