Napa Valley Wine Country Film Festival August 2-3, 2003
by Pam Hughes
My friend and DQ Times staff member Debbie and
I arrived at our hotel in Napa around 3:00 PM Saturday,
August 2, 2003. We met up with some of our friends and DQ
Times members to attend the screening of Jane Seymour's
movie, Touching Wild Horses. The movie was being shown at
the film festival, and we were all very excited to be viewing
Jane's film on the big screen.
We arrived at the 1938 Sebastiani Theatre at about
6:15 PM and checked in. We were all very hungry after traveling
many hours by car in heavy traffic to reach the festival,
so we decided to find a place to eat and relax before the
There were six of us attending the festival myself,
Debbie, Steve and Susie, and Kirk and Dianne. We were enjoying
being together again since we live so far from each other
and don't often get to get together as much as we would
like. Debbie had flown in earlier in the day from Portland,
and so we were all very tired and wanting something good
to eat. Time was passing quickly and by the time our meal
arrived, we had to eat like we were in a food contest, and
pretty much gobbled it down before the screening began.
We rushed back to the theater with about 15 minutes
or less to spare only to be told that Jane would be coming
near the end of the movie as she had been caught in the
terrible traffic and was now eating her dinner. We
found our seats and the movie began, it was very hot in
the little old theater but it was quaint inside too. It
was very nice and refreshing to see Jane's movie on the
big screen instead of on TV, wonderful actually.
The seats were pretty much full, and I looked around
from time to time to see how people seemed to be reacting
to the film. Only a handful of people got up to go to get
popcorn or whatever, so this was a good sign. I noticed
people laughed when something was funny in the film, another
good sign. Jane and her husband James came into the theater
and sat up in the back during the film. it wasn't until
the film was over that they came forward to the front of
the theater and sat down.
When the film had ended and the credits were rolling,
it was quiet in the little theater so I lead the audience
in a round of applause for this precious film. The clapping
became very loud as the credits ceased on the screen, the
movie was a hit. I looked around and a few people were wiping
away tears from their eyes. It was indeed a hit with this
crowd. I would guess there were about 80-100 people inside-
a nice size crowd for a festival here at Napa.
The festival director introduced Jane and she came
up in front of the audience and everyone applauded again;
then the director began an hour long question and answer
session with Jane. The lighting was very dark in the theater,
so it was hard for me to video tape Jane. She looked very
pink and orange through my camera camcorder lens. My friend
Dianne was taking still photos from behind me, she too was
having problems with the lighting.
Jane discussed many projects and thoughts and ideas
with the audience, she was very interesting. She worked
very well answering questions at random and off the cuff,
very relaxed and funny. She discussed her new St.. Catherine's
Saks Household line, and her English manor house St. Catherine's.
She also spoke about DQ, Foster Care for Children, Disease
of the Wind, projects in film she was interested in making,
her artwork, her children's clothing line, her charities
and her family.
The hour went by much to quickly and before we knew
it the time had come to exit the theater. My friend Dianne
had bought Jane's DQ Doctor Bag on ebay a few days before,
and she wanted to get it signed by Jane. We tried to get a
few photos of Jane signing the bag, but it was so dark in
the theater so Jane moved everyone out into the lobby.
While in the lobby, I saw DQ's own Ozzie
Smith our wonderful cinematographer and his wife. We all talked
for a few minutes about the traffic and DQ, as well as the
movie and our magazine 'The DQ Times'. Jane was signing a
few photos for the crowd and talking with my friend. Earlier
inside she had been awarded by the Napa Film Festival a Humanitarian
award for her work with charites.
Jane was talking about the doctor's bag telling Dianne that this bag
was the main and first bag to be used on DQ, it was the
one that she used when she rode Flash. It had a bigger handle
on it so that it could fit over the saddle horn. Dianne
was elated to hear this news. Jane had signed the inside
of the bag,' Dr Quinn, Jane Seymour'. Dianne was then telling
Jane of all the DQ items she now proudly owned and Jane
was very interested in that. One of our friends, Susie,
had made a replica of Jane's blue dress from Where the
Heart Is,- the ball gown and Jane loved it. She was
looking at the photos and saying it was one of her favorite
dresses. Dianne then gave Jane a few professional photos
of Quinn that Jane didn't have, but was very happy to get.
One was of Jane, June and Johnny, the other of Erika and
Jane from Portraits. Someone told Jane that I had
the 'Sully Wedding bed' in my bedroom, and Jane replied
with a smile on her face, "I Know! " Then they
told her I had Katie's baby crib and the Gazette stand as
well as a rolling pin and a horseshoe used on the series.
Dianne told Jane that Susie had won Michaela's 'old homestead
bed' from a DQ Times Auction. Jane seemed happy to know
the fans had these precious items from the series to save
for history. She then told us what she had- the clothes,
the wedding dress, Sully's wedding shirt, her hats and coats,
boots and bag. (there were five copies of the first bag
and several used as the second bag after Michaela burns
the first one in the fire) It was show and tell in the lobby,
soon everyone moved out into the streets of Sonoma.
I was still inside the theater talking with the
festival people when Dianne ran in to tell me that James
and Jane were looking for me. I came outside where it was
much cooler to chat with our small group. We chatted and
then Jane and James invited us down to a corner restaurant
for drinks. It was a nice evening, but a hectic one. We
broke up the party about 12:00 and everyone either drove
home or had to find their hotel rooms.
It was a good evening and a wonderful film. We
were able to cast our votes for the film. You had a range
of 1-5, five being highest vote, I gave the film a 5,
my group all did. If you get the chance to see this film
at another festival go for it, you won't be disappointed
you will be captured by it truth and wisdom.
Photos courtesy of Dianne Bennett and Pam Hughes