Mill Valley played host to a dame over the past few days. British actress Kristin Scott Thomas, perhaps best known for her role in The English Patient in 1996, was in town for the 40th Mill Valley Film Festival, where she appeared at the Opening Night screening of Darkest Hour, director Joe Wright’s look at the rise of Winston Churchill and the crucial moments he faced  against Adolf Hitler’s army in the beginning of World War II.

Thomas also received a Tribute to her career on Oct. 6, receiving the MVFF Award from festival executive director Mark Fishkin and director of programming Zoe Elton, who sat with Thomas for a Q&A. In the video by Kirke Wrench below, Thomas told Elton about the experience of receiving her damehood from Queen Elizabeth II.

​In addition to appearances by Wright and Thomas, actress Amy Hargreaves, who has lived in San Rafael while starring in 13 Reasons Why, a Netflix series shot in Marin, appeared on the opening night of MVFF40 to support Wonderstruck, a Todd Haynes-directed film in which she has a supporting role.

The festival kicked off with an Opening Night Gala at Marin Country Mart, where attendees were able to walk the proverbial red carpet, have their photos taken against the MVFF backdrop and enjoy live music from Wonderbread 5 and food from an array of local restaurants.

The 411: The 40th Mill Valley Film Festival runs through Oct. 15.