The 44th Annual Mill Valley Film Festival Is Here

Dim the lights, raise the curtain and cue the trailers: The Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF) is gearing up for its 44th season, running from October 7–17, and we couldn’t be more excited about the stellar lineup of films and events planned. It’s truly inspiring that the organizers behind this top-notch festival have been able to produce it year after year, especially during a pandemic. And whether you’re interested in attending in-person events and screenings in the theater, or watching from the comfort of your own home, MVFF is making it easy for all to safely enjoy the festival this year.

Mill Valley Film Festival
MVFF Executive Director and founder Mark Fishkin and MVFF Director of Programming Zoë Elton at the Big Revel event.

We were lucky enough to get a first look at this year’s festival program when we attended the MVFF Big Reveal event, held at Mill Valley’s Outdoor Art Club in September. During the presentation, MVFF Executive Director and founder Mark Fishkin and MVFF Director of Programming Zoë Elton regaled guests with highlights and trailers from the films to be shown, as well as events planned — and there is truly something for every film fan.

Kicking off the festivities on opening night is the California Premiere of Cyrano, a heartbreakingly beautiful love story starring Peter Dinklage as Cyrano de Bergerac, with award-winning director Joe Wright in attendance.

A few more not to be missed: Julia, an engaging look at the life of beloved French-trained food icon Julia Child, directed and produced by Julie Cohen and Betsy West; sci-fi thriller Dune, which stars Bay Area local Zendaya; The Hand of God, a deeply personal film by Academy Award-winning Italian writer and director Paolo Sorrentino, set in Naples in the 1980s; and The Lost Daughter, a gripping drama directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal with an all-star cast, including Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson and Peter Sarsgaard.

Julia Child
From the Film ‘Julia’. Photo courtesy of Fairchild Archive-Penske Media-Shutterstock.

There are so many more standout films to see. To help you decide what to watch, MVFF has introduced thematic “strands” this year, nine categories for different interests, from Create (art, dance, theater) to Debate (investigations, controversy) and Spirit (body and soul) to Surprise (for thrill-seekers). Read on to learn everything you can expect from this year’s MVFF program, buy your tickets at, and we’ll see you at the festival! Click below for our coverage of MVFF 44:

Back to the Big Screen: Mill Valley Film Festival Returns to Form for 2021

mill valley film festival
Photo courtesy of Drew Altizer Photography.

Local Love: 9 Films From Marin and the Bay Area to Watch at the Mill Valley Film Festival

rolling ben fong torres
Photo from ‘Like Rolling Stone’ courtesy of Fred Morales Jr.

MVFF’s Mind the Gap Summit: Putting a Spotlight on the Film Industry’s Excluded Groups

Mill valley film festival
Mind the Gap Directors Forum 2019 (left to right): Petra Costa, Zabou Breitman, Kasi Lemmons, Zoë Elton, Melissa Silverstein, Chinonye Chukwu and Sippy Chadha. Photo by Roman Cho.

MVFF Education Helps Students Learn the Craft of Filmmaking

Filmmaking MVFF