By Michael Howell
Food and film lovers alike gathered in Wolfville this past weekend to enjoy the Slow Motion Food Film Festival. Hosted by Slow Food Nova Scotia, the bi-annual film festival showcased 29 films from 13 countries, all with the intent to entertain and educate the public on the notion of good, clean, fair food for all.
Filmmakers and organizers were more than thrilled with the resounding success of the festival, which was kicked-off by a sold out, 150-seat Barn Dinner on Thursday, November 10, 2011. “We’re extremely pleased with the turn-out,” said Michael Howell, organizing director of the 2011 Slow Motion Food Film Festival and leader of Slow Food Nova Scotia, the local affiliate of Slow Food International.
Film award winners in four categories were announced Sunday night at the Festival’s closing screening. Award winners were: Dive by Jeremy Seifert of USA, for Short Documentary; Loss of Taste by Luca Nestola of Italy, for Short Drama; Cooking History by Peter Kerekes of Czech Republic for Feature Documentary; and, Perfect Sense by David Mackenzie of UK for Feature Drama. Winners of the four categories were presented with a hand-crafted golden snail made by local artisan and owner of The Virgo Tiger, Marie Jardine of Canning Nova Scotia – the snail is the symbol of Slow Food International.
Eleven filmmakers and stars from around the world made the trip to Wolfville to view the screenings of their films. They included filmmaker Rachel Bower of In the Same Boat, Katharina Steinhoffer, filmmaker of And this is My Garden, Felipe Togni, director of La Matula, Christine Masterson and Owen Anthony, filmmakers and producers of Grow, Raul Alvarez, filmmaker of Land Awakening, Chuck Lapp, producer of Clearing the Waters, Anicet Desrosier, star of La Reine Malade, Luca Nestola, filmmaker of Loss of Taste, Simon Thibault and Chris De Wall, producer and star respectively of Getaway.
Also in attendance were a number of special guests, including Canadian film star Jason Priestley, who participated as a guest chef at the Barn Dinner and also presented an award during Sunday night’s ceremony; Ann McKenzie, of Film Nova Scotia; Bobby Gregoire, leader of Slow Food Montreal; Anita Stewart, Canadian food writer and creator of Food Day Canada; and Gretha Rose, executive producer and president of Cellar Door Productions.
“The enthusiasm from the public, our sponsors, volunteers, and the food film industry surpassed our expectations,” said Howell. “We’re extremely grateful for everyone involved that helped to make the festival a success.” Slow Food Nova Scotia looks forward to the next Slow Motion Food Film Festival in November 2013.
Slow Food is an international organization active in over 130 countries devoted to good, clean, fair food for all, the preservation of local food traditions and playing an increasing role in food security worldwide. The mission of the Festival is to educate and entertain us all as we learn more about the food and our world.