In its second year, the festival grew in ways we only dreamed of. The rain this year was a colossal bummer for the first few days but hearty film fans still showed up to fill the tent in the wind, thunder, and rain most nights.
The true capacity of the festival was reached on the beautiful nights of Thursday and Friday with around 750 people filling the beach both nights. Barbeque night was a hit and brought
NYC barbeque pitmasters Robbie Richter, Scott Smith, and Andrew Fishel to the beach. Robbie and his team made a barbeque chicken with a Birmingham, Alabama inspired white sauce as
Scott and Andrew turned out succulent pulled pork sandwiches. A line of over 200 waited for free samples of both and over 150 pounds of barbeque were handed out. It was the perfect food for the screening of Max Shores' Holy Smoke Over Birmingham. We also screened Matthew Graves and Joe York's The Rise of Southern Cheese and had excellent Woolwich Dairy goat cheese and Jarlsberg to match.
On Friday we began the night with the first ever NYC Food Film Festival Awards Show. For the 2008 winners click here. To see the official festival Slotted Spoon Award click here. Best Feature went to Craig Noble director of Tableland who came in from Vancouver, BC for his
screening that night. The soon-to-be-prestigious Food Filmmaker of the Year award went to Donna Lennard for her involvement with the festival supplying an olive oil tasting for 200, for allowing the festival to premiere her film La Raccolta, and for the promise that she'll make more food films. We heard a rumor that a salt film is in the works. Director Adly Rizal from Malaysia understandably could not make it to Water Taxi Beach to accept an award for his super-short The Sloppiest Burger in Malaysia, but he emailed an acceptance speech that was played for the crowd of 750.
The feature of closing night was Craig Noble's Tableland which was matched with a vegan tasting menu made from local ingredients and prepared by Chef Matteo.
Overall the 2008 festival was an unequivocal success. Next year will be even better and we are already planning fun events. Cooking demos matched with films are planned at a yet-t0-be-announced Manhattan event space. Harry and I are also planning on re-creating a huge drive-in movie experience in the enormous commuter parking lot at the beach complete with the audio dialed into your AM radio and food delivered to your car...stay tuned.
The call for entries will go out a bit earlier this year (mid-November) giving us more time to plan. See you next year.