From serious gourmands to casual foodies, the 20th annual Newport Beach Film Festival (April 25 – May 2) is set to satisfy lovers of epicurean cinema in big way. The Culinary Film Series will showcase nine films that celebrate world-renowned chefs, the art of gastronomy, international food culture, sustainable farming, the craft of winemaking and distilling. (Follow along on Instagram, @nbff_culinary.)
Here’s more information about the entries, each a stunning triumph of documentary filmmaking and the artistry inherent in food:
Synopsis: Funke tells the story of prodigious chef Evan Funkeas he mounts his culinary comeback, eyeing the most competitive street in America as a stage for his ode to the dying art of handmade pasta.
Synopsis: Deep within the Paso Robles wine country lies a dedicated community of winemakers, brew and cider masters, and distillers who are working together to make history. These people are the bootstrap entrepreneurs who, despite not having every resource available, are doing what they love. Through blood, sweat and tears, they are building edgy and creative wine, beer and spirits brands.
Synopsis: Evicted from their small Los Angeles apartment, ambitious dreamers John and Molly ditch their urban life and embark on a journey to develop a 200-acre farmland filled with diverse animals, crops, and plants living in harmony. However, their attempt to establish a utopia faces several complications, exposing John and Molly to valuable lessons about the deep complexities of nature as they realize they must understand these intricacies in order to survive.
Synopsis: Unfolding over the course of one of the most dramatic harvests in history, Harvest Season follows the unsung heroes of the winemaking industry: vineyard workers and small producers, who lovingly oversee all aspects of the winemaking process. (Note: This film plays with The Last Harvest: You Can’t Grow Without Change.)
Synopsis: Critical labor shortages are forcing farmers to abandon valuable crops. Hear from affected communities and the unsung heroes who grow our food.
All films in the Culinary Series will screen at Edwards Big Newport (300 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach), The LOT in Fashion Island (999 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach) and The Triangle (1870 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa). Filmmaker Q&A sessions will follow select screenings.
For more information about the Newport Beach Film Festival and Culinary Film Series, visit www.newportbeachfilmfest.com.