Sonomawood picture: credit Robert Redfield
Sonomawood picture: credit Robert Redfield
Sonomawood picture: credit Robert Redfield

One of the best solo weekends I ever had was at the  Sonoma International Film Festival. So much so, that I’m going back this year, but with a group of friends.

Yes, Sonoma is fabulous, but when the film festival is in town, there is something ever more magical about place. The energy is great and the weekend is filled with fun events, amazing films, awesome venues, wonderful wines, and an endless list of shops you can visit between movies.

What’s great is that the festival is five days long, so you can go up for a day, or spend the weekend. The festival will feature more than 100 hand-selected films from 27 countries, including independent features, documentaries, world cinema, shorts, and a showcase of Spanish language films.

I’ve been to a ton of film festival around the world, but this is my favorite. It is casual, yet the films are incredible outstanding. All the films are screened at intimate venues within walking distance of Sonoma’s historic plaza. Some are hosted in old Victorian homes, others in cute cafes. Along with enjoying the beautiful scenery of Sonoma, you get to meet the filmmakers and producers at intimate events that include the serving of fabulous Sonoma wines such as Gloria Ferrer Sparkling wine, Clos du Bois, Highway 12, and Chateau St. Jean. Nothing bad about that!

Indeed, the dining options around the square are just as good as the films. No chance of going hungry with venues like The Girl and the Fig, The Red Grape, and El Dorado Hotel and Kitchen.

Some of the festival highlights include the opening night film of A Little Chaos, starring Alan Rickman and Kate Winslet, Friday’s Prom in the Backlot Tent and Saturday’s VIP reception of Dior and I, where Frédéric Tcheng gives an extraordinary look inside the iconic fashion house.

Also, Celebrity Cruises is the official sponsor of the event, so that means there’s going to be some great gift bags! At the screenings of Dior and I and Ciudad Delerio, Celebrity will be distributing gift bags, ladies. And, each day of the festival, you and your girlfriends will have the chance to enjoy giveaways, these include a modern luxury gift basket with $50 gift certificates from local Sonoma restaurants, robes, wine glasses, up to $300 of onboard credit on a Celebrity cruise, as well as Champagne and special offers for booking Celebrity cruises.

You can find a list of places to stay here for you and your girlfriends.

When: Wednesday through Sunday March 25-29, 2015

Where: The city Sonoma

How: visit or call 707-933-2600.