Home » Noteworthy » Vero Beach Wine And Film Festival Returns For Second Year Of Film Screenings, Wine Dinners And More


Vero Beach Wine And Film Festival Returns For Second Year Of Film Screenings, Wine Dinners And More

The Vero Beach festival, that brings together cinephiles and vinophiles, is returning for its second stint.

Taking place June 8 to 11, the Vero Beach Wine and Film Festival will celebrate fine wines and independent films, while showcasing Vero’s coastal lifestyle.

From a sea turtle walk following a documentary about the billions of harmful plastic straws filling our oceans and landfills, to a cocktail demo at Grind + Grape accompanying a screening of “Bartender at Large,” Vero Beach Wine and Film Festival’s 2017 film lineup will offer experiential screenings that pair the films with fitting activations.

“We plan for movies to be experienced differently – whether through venue or the presentation,” festival founder Jerusha Stewart said. “VBWFF is definitely a ‘Sip, See, Savor!’ experience. Unlike most festivals, we want guests to experience the film, not just watch it.”

The only U.S. wine and film fest outside of California’s wine country, Vero’s has been called the new “Summer Sundance,” with a panel of experts and celebrity judges—including “Airbud” co-creator Aaron Mendelsohn, “Wedding Crashers” actor Geoff Stults and Black Label Media founder Molly Smith, who recently worked on Academy Award winner “La La Land”—plus an Audience Choice Awards component. Nearly 80 films, from shorts to feature-length narratives and documentaries, will be screened throughout the four-day event. 

Festival events will take place across 10 different Vero Beach venues, including the Theatre Guild, Riverside Theatre and the Vero Beach Museum of Art. Plus, culinary demos and wine tastings will be held daily at the WOW! Tasting Lounge under the oak trees in Riverside Park, and additional wine tastings will precede most film screenings.

Actor and Florida resident Burt Reynolds, who founded the historic Jupiter Theatre in northern Palm Beach County, will be honored during VBWFF with the Life Worth Living Legend Award, which was awarded to Gloria Estefan last year. Reynold’s latest film – about an aging, former movie star whose glory days are behind him – will also be screening during the film festival. 

“Burt is a star among stars who's enchanted millions with his charisma and comedic style,” Stewart said. “We're excited and honored to present his latest film, ‘Dog Years’ in its Florida premiere after opening at Tribeca.”

For the food and wine lovers who attend, two vintner dinners on June 8 will kick off the festival, as a complement to the “Decanted” documentary screening, which delves into the Napa Valley wine industry. The weekend will also feature wine seminars, culinary demos and a Bubbles, Brews and BBQ bash. Award-winning chef Kitty Wagner will even surprise movie goers with snacks inspired by the bites the film stars eat on-screen.

“Now that we’ve uncorked the community’s love of cinema, we look forward to growing the Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival into a premiere arts destination experience in the years to come,” Stewart said.

Passes to VBWFF start at $40 per day and go up to $495 for a four-day Premiere Pass covering all screenings, wine tastings, VIP parties and special events. Tickets are available online now at VBWFF.com.  

Photo courtesy of Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival