46th Mill Valley Film Festival Draws 30,000 Attendees

Ron Sutton, Gayle Janin, Cord Jefferson, Jeff Hadley and Ally Drake. Photo: Tommy Lau Photography

Maestro was the closing night film for the 46th Mill Valley Film Festival, capping off 11 days of films, panels, parties and musical performances at the annual autumn showcase which drew 30,000 attendees from October 5 to 15. The festival screened 147 films representing 41 countries—including 56 premieres, 85 features, and 62 shorts. 45 percent of all films in the 2023 festival were directed by women.

Festival goers received an early look at upcoming Academy Award® contenders, discovered some of the best films from around the globe, and celebrated many talented Bay Area filmmakers and acclaimed filmmakers from countries worldwide.

Jai Stefan, Jack Huston and Peter Simonite. Photo: imageSPACE

Audiences flocked to the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, the CinéArts Sequoia, and the Lark Theaterduring this year’s festival. MVFF also returned to Berkeley with a selection of films at BAMPFA (Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive), two days of screenings at San Francisco’s Roxie Theater, and held live music shows at Sweetwater Music Hall.

MVFF 46 Opening Night Gala at Marin Country Mart. Photo: Lee Baer

Additionally, MVFF Education reached over 5,600 students across the U.S. with virtual programming, in-person screenings, and school visits in Marin, San Francisco and the East Bay. Two free programs were available exclusively to K-12 schools in the Bay Area and across the country: School Screenings, a selection of narrative features, documentaries, and shorts programs offered for free to all participating schools as weekday matinees in the theater and throughout the festival online; and Filmmakers Go to School, a more interactive festival experience that connected festival filmmakers with students (both in-person and virtually) for live discussions about their films and the art and craft of filmmaking. 

Maestro Closing Night with Steven Morrow, Mark Bridges, Michelle Tesoro, Kevin Thompson, Kristie Macosko Krieger. Photo: Tommy Lau Photography

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