Sacramento Food Film Festival comes to theaters near you

MARITA MADELONI / COURTESY
MARITA MADELONI / COURTESY

Fifth annual Food Film Festival returns offers education and entertainment

The Sacramento Food Film Festival (SFFF) will return for a fifth year from April 7 to 16 at a variety of venues, sponsored by different restaurants and organizations in the Sacramento area. The annual festival is held to help educate the community about food systems, with themed meals served to compliment food related films.

The whole goal was to see documentaries and to teach myself about where my food was coming from,” said Catherine Enfield, the founder of SFFF.

Enfield, a food blogger in the Sacramento region, started the festival in 2011 to screen documentaries that are not typically shown in the area.

What began as a purely educational idea has now bloomed into a ten-day film festival, which was donated and taken over by the Food Literacy Center (FLC) last year.

Enfield decided to hand over the festival to Amber Stott, Founding Executive Director of the FLC. Stott had more volunteers and resources to help the festival continue in its growth while also raising money for FLC.

Stott aims to make learning about food fun for kids and to encourage healthy eating among lower-income students. The FLC educates kids about eating vegetables while also teaching them to cook.

“We apply this same philosophy to the food film festival by inviting folks to come out to a really fun event, where we pair some of the best chefs in Sacramento with various documentary films,” Stott said. “We hope to bring people together to learn something about different [food-related] issues. Hopefully they walk about a little smarter and motivated to help make a change.”

Even after FLC took over the festival, its original goals have stayed constant: to help educate the community about the complexities in food systems. Now, the event also helps fund the FLC as its biggest fundraiser.

The FLC benefits students in eight schools across the Sacramento City Unified School District, serving around 800 students weekly. The non-profit teaches students lessons related to nutrition, reading recipes and cooking.

“We make education fun in our classroom so it seemed like a really good fit for us to be involved [with the SFFF], since education is a really strong mission theme for us. We want our community to be just as educated as the children we teach in our classrooms,” said FLC Community Relations Officer Melissa Granville.

The theme of this year’s festival is global food culture. The premiere night features several short films, each paired with a chef and food that compliments the documentary. According to Granville, a film about Thailand would be followed by food inspired by Thai culture.

Selland’s Market Cafe, a family restaurant in the Sacramento region, hosts the second event of the festival: the family movie night. This year, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 will be shown, accompanied by a spaghetti dinner.

“We are a bit different since we offer something geared more toward families. Some of the other events and restaurants are more of independent films and food festival films. It is a family event so it was one of the few events that you can take your kids to,” said Sheryl Trapani, marketing director of Selland’s Market Cafe.

All of the festival’s proceeds will go toward benefiting FLC’s programs and mission. For more information regarding tickets, schedules, locations, prices and films, visit the Sacramento Food Film Festival site.

Written By: BIANCA ANTUNEZ – city@theaggie.org