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Monday, February 3, 2014

Spotlight on Italian films in Culinary Program at the 64th Berlin Film Festival

“We like it hot… but don’t let it burn” is the motto of the Culinary Cinema. “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.

Fifteen films in this series about food and the environment will be presented. 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.

The Italian films set to be screened are... the documentary, "I Cavaliere della Laguna" (see trailer above), by Walter Bencini, about a fishing cooperative on the coast of Tuscany; Raffaele Andreassi's 1957 film, "I maccheroni" which is set in the Pugliese town of Gargano and recounts the tradition of Sunday lunch with a plate of macaroni and bolognese sauce; and Jonathan Nossiter's documentary, "Natural Resistance" which documents how Italian winemakers, who rely on local traditions, are forced to challenge regulations set by the European Union. 

I am especially impressed by the festival's choice of showing Raffaele Andreassi's film, "I maccheroni." The film is virtually impossible to find online, and Andreassi was not a very high profile filmmaker. In 1960, he was awarded the Silver Berlin Bear for his short film, "I vecchi." So, perhaps festival organizers have a special place in their hearts for him. In any event, it'll be a real treat and a rare opportunity for audiences to see this film! 

Below is a complete list of films. For more information, check out the Berlin Film Festival online...

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
German premiere

Cesar Chavez - USA
Cross-Section Berlinale Special 
By Diego Luna
With Michael Pena, America Ferrara, Rosario Dawson, John Malkovich
World premiere

El Juego En La Mesa - Spain / Japan
By Pep Gatell & Eloi Colom

El Somni (The Dream) - Spain
By Franc Aleu
World premiere

Final Recipe – Republic of Korea / Thailand / Singapore
By Gina Kim
With Michelle Yeoh, Henry Lau, Chin Han
German premiere

Food Chains - USA
By Sanjay Rawal
World premiere

I Cavalieri della Laguna (The Knights of the Lagoon) - Italy
By Walter Bencini
World premiere

I Maccheroni - Italy
By Raffaele Andreassi

Le Semeur (The Sower) - Canada
By Julie Perron
International premiere

Mission Blue - USA
By Fisher Stevens, Robert Nixon
International premiere

Natural Resistance - Italy
Cross-Section Panorama Dokumente
By Jonathan Nossiter
World premiere

TABA - El Juego En La Mesa (TABA – The Table Game) – Spain / Japan
By Pep Gatell & Eloi Colom

Tante Hilda! (Aunt Hilda!) – France / Luxembourg 
Cross-Section Generation
By Jacques-Rémy Girerd & Benoït Chieux
International premiere

The Food Guide to Love - Spain / Ireland / France
By Dominic Harari & Teresa de Pelegri
With Leonor Watling, Richard Coyle
German premiere

Zone Pro Site: The Moveable Feast - Taiwan
By Chen Yu-Hsun
With Lin Mei-Hsiu, Yang Yo, Hsia Kimi
European premiere

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