Mar 19, 2019
Food-Related Films at the Festival Showcase a Diversity in World Cinema
San Francisco, CA – SFFILM presents a World Cinema Spotlight on Food and Film at the 2019 San Francisco International Film Festival (April 10–23). The films in this series include Bloodroot, directed by Douglas Tirola; Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy, directed by Elizabeth Carroll; Ramen Shop, directed Eric Khoo; and Street Food, created by David Gelb.
Food encompasses all of the senses, with taste and smell perhaps the most prominent, but the visual element is arguably the most sensual. Many avid diners would claim the best seat in the house is the one where they can see into the kitchen, and there’s nothing quite like the anticipation one feels at watching a beautiful dish come together, whether cooking it oneself or having it delivered to the table. The Festival films in this year’s spotlight all offer an immaculate feast for the eyes.
Netflix has been a pioneer in food show programming, and their new episodic Street Food, from Chef’s Table creator David Gelb, promises mouth-watering sidewalk fare from bustling Asian metropolises. Bloodroot offers the story of a lesbian couple and their feminist restaurant in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where they feature vegetarian takes on Thai chicken and African stews. Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy tells the story of one of the most eminent practitioners of Mexican cuisine who demonstrates how to make great guacamole. Finally, Singaporean director Eric Khoo’s Ramen Shop shows how food can bring cultures together as his protagonist Masato searches for the perfect recipe for the peppery pork rib soup known as bak kut teh.
Bloodroot (USA 2019) – Douglas Tirola’s latest documentary traces the evolution of feminism through the lives of two exceptional women, Noel and Selma, who came of age in the ’50s when women were relegated to the roles of wives and mothers. After leaving their marriages and becoming a couple, the two open Bloodroot, the first vegetarian collective restaurant and bookstore, in Bridgeport, Connecticut. In telling their story, Tirola affectionately chronicles the cultural shifts of the last 40 years as Noel and Selma attempt to keep Bloodroot open as an indispensable gathering spot for progressive women.
Bloodroot screens on Thursday, April 11, at 6:00 pm at the Children’s Creativity Theater. A second screening takes place on Saturday, April 13, at noon at the Children’s Creativity Theater.
Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy (USA/Mexico 2019) – Reflecting on her life’s work as one of the globe’s authorities on Mexican cuisine, 95-year-old Diana Kennedy says, “Always get a recipe.” Whether hosting cooking classes in her Michoacan home (“If anyone says they don’t like cilantro, please don’t invite them”), driving back roads in her weathered Nissan, or providing a noteworthy example of sustainable living, Kennedy and her reminiscences and irascible persona show how passion and appetite made a career. Though the film remains focused indelibly on Kennedy, Bay Area food luminaries Alice Waters and Gabriela Cámara offer penetrating insights of their own.
Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy screens on Friday, April 12, at 6:00 pm at SFMOMA. A second screening takes place on Monday, April 15, at 8:30 pm at the Roxie Theater.
Ramen Shop (Singapore 2018) – After his father’s death, bicultural chef Masato heads to Singapore to find out more about his mother and the culinary bounty that has made the island city-state such a foodie destination. Guided by food blogger Miki, Masato seeks the perfect recipe for his mom’s pork rib soup, little knowing that the secret could reside with his extended family. Without ignoring the hostilities that still simmer from the Japanese occupation, Singaporean director Eric Khoo gives mouthwatering evidence to the idea that food can not only satisfy the stomach, it can heal the heart.
Ramen Shop screens on Friday, April 12, at 5:00 pm at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA). A second screening takes place on Sunday, April 14, at 1:30 pm at the Children’s Creativity Theatre in San Francisco.
Street Food (USA 2019) – Mouthwatering documentaries are producer David Gelb’s specialty. The man who brought the world Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011) and the series Chef’s Table (2015-) and Chef’s Table: France (2016) is back with a new show. After concentrating on high-end eateries with those earlier projects, he now turns his attention to food that is just as delicious, if humbler, with this luscious tour of Asian street food.
Street Food screens on Saturday, April 20, at 3:30 pm at the Grand Lake Theatre in Oakland.
Tickets to the highlighted World Cinema Spotlight: Food and Film screenings are $13 for SFFILM members, $16 for the general public. Box office is open online now at sffilm.org.
For general information visit sffilm.org/festival.
For photos and press materials visit sffilm.org/press.
2019 San Francisco International Film Festival
The longest-running film festival in the Americas, the San Francisco International Film Festival (SFFILM Festival) is an extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation in one of the country’s most beautiful cities. The 62nd edition runs April 10–23 at venues across the Bay Area and features nearly 200 films and live events, 14 juried awards with close to $40,000 in cash prizes, and upwards of 100 participating filmmaker guests.
SFFILM is a nonprofit organization with a mission to champion the world’s finest films and filmmakers through programs anchored in and inspired by the spirit and values of the San Francisco Bay Area. Presenter of the San Francisco International Film Festival, SFFILM is a year-round organization delivering screenings and events to more than 75,000 film lovers and media education programs to more than 12,000 students and teachers annually. In addition to its public programs, SFFILM supports the careers of independent filmmakers from the Bay Area and beyond with grants, residencies, and other creative development services.
For more information visit sffilm.org.
This press release is available online at sffilm.org/press/releases.