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Winter Reel Food Film Festival launches this week

Posted: October 30, 2011 - 12:01am

The rainy days and long nights of winter are the perfect time to enjoy the great indoors with two classic Juneau pastimes: movies and potlucks. Starting Nov. 2, the Goldtown Nickelodeon will serve up a double delight of food and film as part of its first “Winter Reel Food Film Festival.” The series will feature four highly acclaimed food-themed documentaries during the month of November until mid-December.

A growing national movement towards a healthy, sustainable food system has yielded a bumper crop of fascinating documentaries. In response to many requests from community members, the theater’s manager, Collette Costa has put together an assortment of food films for this festival. All movies are on Wednesdays. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the shows start at 6:30 p.m. In the spirit of sharing good food and good will, movie admission will be discounted for those who bring unopened non-perishable donations for the Southeast Alaska Food Bank.

“The discounted tickets will be $5 instead of $9,” said Charmagne Gutierrez, a community member and a volunteer at the Goldtown Nickelodeon. She added, “People will also receive a discount if they bring a dish to share at the pre-film potluck.” Those participating in the picnic-style potluck are also encouraged to bring their own reusable plates and cutlery.

The film festival kicks off on Wednesday with “Ingredients.” This appetizing documentary looks at the how chefs, consumers, and farmers across the country are all working together to create a food system that celebrates taste, health, community, and sustainability.

The much-anticipated “Queen of the Sun” will show Nov.16. This cinema masterpiece takes the viewer on an international journey to explore the mystery and tragedy behind the global bee crisis. Featuring Michael Pollan, Gunther Hauk, Vanadana Shiva, and beekeepers worldwide, the film weaves together a complex story about the problems and the solutions in renewing a culture’s balance with nature.

“Farmageddon” on Nov. 30 tells the story of small family farms in their struggle to survive in the face of government policies that can hinder their success. The film highlights how farmers and consumers alike can take action to preserve individuals’ rights to access food of their choice and farmers’ rights to produce these foods.

The festival will end on an inspirational note with “Cafeteria Man” on Dec. 14 in a showcase of how the collective efforts of social activists, citizens, teachers, and students came together to make positive changes to the lunch system of a public school district in Baltimore.

The event is co-hosted by the local Slow Food - Southeast Alaska chapter. More information about the organization and how to get involved in local food projects can be found at the screening on Wednesday. “There’s a growing interest in Juneau for learning more about food issues that affect us,” said Gutierrez. “These films and potlucks are a great way for people to enjoy these great movies and share food with their neighbors.”

For more information about the film festival, visit the Goldtown Nickelodeon website at www.goldtownnick.com, email Charmagne Gutierrez at charmagneak@gmail.com, or call 586-2875

• Jennifer Nu is a freelance writer based in Juneau. Contact her at jennu.jnu@gmail.com

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