Berlin, Germany, 20-1-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — “We like it hot… but don’t let it burn” is the motto of the Culinary Cinema of the 64th Berlinale, which will be held from February 9 to 14, 2014.
“The use of fire and our ability to cook distinguishes us from all other living beings. Yet fire also poses a threat to future generations, for global warming has reached dangerous levels. Let’s do something about it, and leave no stone unturned,” says Festival Director Dieter Kosslick.
Fourteen of the fifteen films in this series about food and the environment will be presented at the movie theatre in the Martin-Gropius-Bau. Following the 7.30 pm screenings, star chefs Daniel Achilles, Matthias Diether, Michael Kempf, Tim Raue and the Roca brothers will each serve a meal inspired by one of the films in the “Gropius Mirror” restaurant, an elegant tent lined with mirrors.
Opening the programme is the Korean feature Final Recipe by Gina Kim. Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) plays the producer of an extremely glamourous cooking contest who becomes entangled in a family drama. On this first evening, Daniel Achilles from Berlin’s reinstoff restaurant will man the Culinary Cinema’s stove.
Franc Aleu’s documentary El Somni (The Dream) is about the Roca brothers from Girona, a Catalonian town. Since 2013, their restaurant, El Celler de Can Roca, is number one on the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. At an exclusive dinner with twelve top personalities from the fields of gastronomy, art and science, the brothers’ extraordinary dishes are put in an intercultural context through video projections and performances. Josep, Joan and Jordi Roca will prepare the meal following the film.
With Zone Pro Site: The Moveable Feast, Chen Yu-Hsun presents a zany, colourful comedy about traditional Taiwanese outdoor catering chefs. Tim Raue, chef of the restaurant that bears his name and expert on Asian cuisine, will create the menu.
Yuzo Asahara’s Bushi No Kondate (A Tale of Samurai Cooking – A True Love Story) is a Japanese love story between a samurai chef, who prefers swords to kitchen knives, and his wife, who is a brilliant cook. Michael Kempf, chef of the restaurant Facil, will let this kitchen warrior inspire him.
In Natural Resistance, Jonathan Nossiter documents how Italian winemakers, who rely on local traditions, battle norms set by the EU and winegrowers’ associations. He connects scenes in vineyards with archive footage from the Cineteca Bologna, and so reveals the relationship between culture and agriculture. Matthias Diether, chef at first floor, will present his interpretation of Italian cuisine.
The late 10.00 pm screenings will also showcase films about food, but no meals will be served afterwards. Fisher Stevens’ and Robert Nixon’s film Mission Blue tells of the life of marine biologist and environmentalist Sylvia Earle and her “Hope Spots” project. Sanjay Rawal’s documentary Food Chains was co-produced by, among others, Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives) and Eric Schlosser (Food, Inc.), and shows the current struggle of farmworkers against deplorable working conditions in Florida and California. The Food Guide to Love by Dominic Harari and Teresa de Pelegri describes the romantic relationship between an Irish omnivore and a Spanish vegetarian. In Le Semeur (The Sower), Julie Perron portrays a Canadian artist who unites cultivating and preserving rare seeds with inventive art performances. Diego Luna’s feature Cesar Chavez (USA) provides the historical backdrop for Food Chains, showing how civil rights activist César Chávez successfully organized field workers to fight for their rights in 1960s California.
On February 14, within the scope of “Berlinale Goes Kiez”, Culinary Cinema will go to Eiszeit Kino and Markthalle Neun in Berlin-Kreuzberg. The 15th and final full-length film in the series is the Italian documentary I Cavaliere della Laguna (The Knights of the Lagoon), by Walter Bencini, about a fishing cooperative on the coast of Tuscany. During the Berlinale, Markthalle Neun will also provide street food for festival guests in the Varian-Fry-Straße (see press release from December 16, 2013.)
The short films El Juego En La Mesa, 3 Acres in Detroit and I Maccheroni complete the programme.
At 10.00 am on February 14, during “Youth Food Cinema”, Jacques-Rémy Girerd and Benoït Chieux’s animated film Tante Hilda! (Aunt Hilda! – France / Luxembourg) will be presented. It examines the topic of genetically modified plants in a way that is comprehensible to children and inspires debate.
At 5.00 pm in the “Gropius Mirror” tent, it is “TeaTime” with talks on individual films. On February 11, there will be a discussion entitled “Reality and Culinary Dreams” with the Roca brothers from Spain and Madeleine Jakits from “Der Feinschmecker” magazine. On February 12, Michael Naumann will discuss “The Human Factor” in the food industry with filmmaker Diego Luna as well as producer and author Eric Schlosser.
“With these new films, we are presenting both the beautiful and frightening sides of the world of nutrition for the eighth time. This is a lucky number for the Chinese, which might explain why Southeast Asia is contributing so many films this year,” remarks curator Thomas Struck.
Advance ticket sales for Culinary Cinema will begin at 10 am on February 3, 2014, at the central ticket counters at Potsdamer Platz Arkaden, Kino International and the Haus der Berliner Festspiele. They will also be available at www.berlinale.de and all theatre ticket offices linked with Eventim.
Warendorf, manufacturer of modern professional kitchens and Culinary Cinema’s official partner, is supporting the series.
Films in Culinary Cinema 2014:
3 Acres in Detroit – France / USA
By Nora Mandray
Bushi No Kondate (A Tale of Samurai Cooking – A True Love Story) – Japan
By Yuzo Asahara
With Aya Ueto, Kengo Kora
Cesar Chavez – USA
Cross-Section Berlinale Special
By Diego Luna
With Michael Pena, America Ferrara, Rosario Dawson, John Malkovich
El Juego En La Mesa – Spain / Japan
By Pep Gatell & Eloi Colom
El Somni (The Dream) – Spain
By Franc Aleu
Final Recipe – Republic of Korea / Thailand / Singapore
By Gina Kim
With Michelle Yeoh, Henry Lau, Chin Han
Food Chains – USA
By Sanjay Rawal
I Cavalieri della Laguna (The Knights of the Lagoon) – Italy
By Walter Bencini
I Maccheroni – Italy
By Raffaele Andreassi
Le Semeur (The Sower) – Canada
By Julie Perron
Mission Blue – USA
By Fisher Stevens, Robert Nixon
Natural Resistance – Italy
Cross-Section Panorama Dokumente
By Jonathan Nossiter
TABA – El Juego En La Mesa (TABA – The Table Game) – Spain / Japan
By Pep Gatell & Eloi Colom
Tante Hilda! (Aunt Hilda!) – France / Luxembourg
By Jacques-Rémy Girerd & Benoït Chieux
The Food Guide to Love – Spain / Ireland / France
By Dominic Harari & Teresa de Pelegri
With Leonor Watling, Richard Coyle
Zone Pro Site: The Moveable Feast – Taiwan
By Chen Yu-Hsun
With Lin Mei-Hsiu, Yang Yo, Hsia Kimi