WOLFVILLE – Women who cook and women who film are among the topics being celebrated this year at a food festival that’s set to give viewers something to chew on.
Devour! The Food Film Fest managing director Lia Rinaldo says this year’s lineup is set to showcase a solid lineup of movies prominently featuring both female and local content, with 36 per cent of films directed by women, and 17 per cent of all content from Atlantic filmmakers.
“It’s especially timely right now. With #MeToo, there’s a general shift worldwide. We actually have two documentaries that address this... that are both directed by women. It’s nice to have a Canadian version,” says Rinaldo.
The festival board viewed more than 300 film entries and have narrowed their selection down to 73 films – 28 features and 45 shorts – which together represent 21 countries.
This year’s festival guest curator will be Sam Kass, the former White House Chef for the Obama family, who has chosen the famous ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’ documentary – about the 85-year-old three-star Michelin Japanese sushi chef Jiro Ono, to open the festival.
The closing film, meanwhile, is less international and much closer to home. Renowned director Thom Fitzgerald’s ‘Splinters,’ filmed at an Annapolis Valley apple orchard, will close out the festival.
“It’s probably our strongest program to date, if I daresay,” says Rinaldo.
“Even though we’re working with a unique film niche, there’s never a shortage of content. And it’s not very often we get a dramatic feature we can relate to food in some way.”
With the theme ‘the power of food and film to transform’ in mind, the festival is also pushing its own boundaries with more than an increase in female filmmakers – it will also hold more events beyond Wolfville’s town limits, with an event called Devour Kentville: Sip and Savour kicking off even before the festival’s big opener.
There is also a large female representation in the festival’s youth initiative Nourish Food and Film Challenge, which encourages students to submit a film focused on how they and others can change the food system.
Over the past few years, each winner has been a girl.
“We’re very proud, and it’s wonderful to see this. That’s the hope – to encourage more youth, and girls, to get involved,” says Rinaldo.
The festival will run across Kings County from Oct. 23 to 28.