The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Chicago Food Film Festival Returns For Another Helping

By Steven Pate in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 30, 2012 3:00PM

2012_09_28_filmfoodfestival.jpg How do you get people to come out to watch a movie in 2012? You know, in an actual theater? One very bright idea: offer them something to eat besides room temperature popcorn and overpriced candy. This is the first thing that the Chicago Food Film Festival, back in Chicago for its third year, has going for it

Last year’s festival offered a tantalizing array of edibles designed to accompany the films. Don’t doughnuts from Doughnut Vault and pies from Hoosier Mama sound a wee bit more enticing than milk duds?

Another thing in the Chicago Food Film Festival’s favor is the ever-larger appetite we have for watching food programming. The production values of “food porn" in the Food Network era have made the calorie-free visual consumption of all kinds of food, from the aspirationally complex to the merely decadent, so very much more enjoyable. It only makes sense to capitalize on our cravings for delicious visuals to get us into movie theaters.

We like the look of Ron Faiola’s film about one of our favorite Midwest food traditions, Fish Fry Night Milwaukee. The trailer alone has irreparably complicated our own feelings about what beer to use for the batter. A movie about Pierogis, another about that Quebecois institution known as The Sugar Shack and a look at Sweet Potato Cobbler are also tempting. We like that, perhaps following the current trend for small plates, most of the films are pretty short. Nine minutes seems about right for a movie about a pickle.

Likewise, Farmer Poet, a film about an Illinois organic livestock farmer and poet, appears to be of lyric rather than epic length. Mozzarella Inc. stretches out a little bit more, but its story of a former drum and bass DJ and a former club promoter turning into purveyors of top-shelf Buffalo mozzarella to London restaurants looks like it will hold up well.

The feature film, WHISKY: The Islay Edition is a tad longer, but just enough to savor, and the extra time will surely be well spent just to leave the theater feeling confident about your pronunciation of names like Laphroaig and Bunnahabhain.

The Chicago Food Film Festival happens November 15-17. Check the website for more details as they are released.