Thursday, June 19, 2008

Currywurst, Pizza, and Olive Oil

It has been quite a week. Following the free cheesesteak extravaganza and a day off, the NYC Food Film Festival braved the rain once again and celebrated the Berlin street food Currywurst with a screening of Grace Lee's Best of the Wurst. We closed the evening with Su Friedrich's portrait of coffee production From the Ground Up and we thank Su for being on hand for the screening. We'd also like to thank the hearty souls that ventured out to the beach on such a soggy night. We are considering changing the name of the festival to the NYC Food Film & Weather Festival since the thunder, lightning, and torrential rain are becoming part of the entertainment.

On Tuesday, the festival successfully moved to Brooklyn for one night and we actually lucked out on the weather. It was a beautiful night and around 175 people crammed into the parking lot between Toro Asian Fusion and Grimaldi's Pizzaria to watch three short films. The owner of Toro, who generously donated his lot for the evening, spent the day with a large crew cleaning out the lot so we could set up the screen and 50 rental chairs. It was a great NYC social
experiment in free cinema that even attracted Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz who came by to say a few words to the audience. Directors Fabrizia Galvagano and Julia Haslett were on hand for the screening of their Pure and Simple as well as the star of their pizza film Anthony Mangieri from Una Pizza Napoletana. Grimaldi's surprised the crowd by sending over 10 pies for tasting that were quickly devoured. The event went so well that I promised to be back in the same parking lot next year for the screening of my yet-to-be-completed documentary Brooklyn Pizza.

last night we were back on the beach and greeted by more weather. A brief downpour around 6:30 forced us to set up once again in the enormo-tent for the World Premiere of Donna Lennard's La Raccolta (The Harvest). The event was heavily publicized so despite the weather hundreds showed up. We also screened the award-winning A Love Supreme (accompanied by hand-made samosas) and The Mighty Humble Blueberry (Harry's tasty blueberry gin drinks were available). Thanks to director Nancy O'Mallon for attending the screening of her blueberry film as well as the creators of The Death and Life of Ice Cream who showed up to see their internet sensation on the big screen. A HUGE thanks goes out to Donna Lennard who was on-hand to offer the enormous crowd toasts drizzled with the olive oil portrayed in her film.

Tonight is barbeque night. Bring your appetite and feast on pulled pork from R.U.B. and chicken prepared by the award-winning Queens pitmaster Robbie Richter. To accompany all that 'que is the film Holy Smoke Over Birmingham.

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