New York City does a lot of things really well. One of those includes putting on festivals. My favorite so far? The Food Film Festival, which was held in mid-October, and combined two of my favorite activities – eating and watching movies. The geniuses behind this perfectly brewed concoction are filmmaker George Motz and event planner Seth Unger, whose modest attempts five years ago have since resulted in a four-day fest that includes 28 films in six different showcases. The main concept behind the festival is…wait for it…getting to eat what you see on-screen, while you are watching it!
My girlfriend and I attended Friday night’s “Edible Adventure,” which featured “Mistura: The Power of Food,” an awarding film by Patricia Pérez that celebrates Peru’s passion for food through its annual food fest held in Lima. The famed Tribeca Cinemas played host to the event and after a quick drink at local watering hole, Tribeca Taverns, we headed into the theater for wine tasting, while we waited for the films to begin. First up was “Kyo No Izakaya Chika,” a roughly seven minute film about Tanaka Michiko and her uber-tiny restaurant in an alley in Kyoto, Japan. I actually loved this one. Having been to Japan, Mrs. Michiko seemed very familiar to me and I really enjoyed watching her cook and learning her story. The dish? Curry beef with sticky rice! Japanese curry has a little different flavor profile than the better known Thai or Indian curries. It is thicker and less spicy and almost like a stew. The best part – and the whole point of the festival – was that as we were watching her cook curry on-screen, we were eating it. Amazingly simple concept with delicious results.
The second film was “Should the Wife Confess.” A dark film about how a relationship can slowly die over time that pivots around food as both a symbol of goodness and a weapon of destruction. They decided not to serve as anything while we were watching, which I think was a good call.
And finally, Mistura. We were first served a classic ceviche and then served a Peruvian favorite, Anticuchos. Mistura eventually won the Jarlsberg Best Short Film Award of the festival because it so clearly captures the spirit of the Peruvian celebration, but also because it so eloquently tells the stories of the chefs and personalities that make Mistura such a powerful personal and gastronomic event.
Enjoy a few pix from the night and see you in the city, friends!
The Tribeca Cinemas