What: Chow Down: International Film Series Food Film Festival
When: Thursday, Oct. 10, through Sunday, Oct. 13
Where: All films screen at Muenzinger Auditorium on the University of Colorado campus except for the opening-night documentary "Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers," which will show at the Boulder Public Library Canyon Theater
Tickets: $7 for individual films, $6 for CU-Boulder students and seniors. Festival passes are $25 and include admission to the films at Muenzinger Auditorium and free parking validation at CU's Euclid Auto Park. Festival passes may be purchased at any IFS screening and Absolute Vinyl Records and Stereo, 5360 Arapahoe Ave. A limited number of free tickets to the Oct. 13 Hummus Throwdown are available.
Food and film converge in Boulder with the launch of Chow Down: IFS Food Film Festival, which debuts Thursday through Oct. 13.
Julia Joun, festival programmer, said filmgoers should expect a wide-reaching menu of features at the inaugural event.
"The films were chosen with an eye for excellence and diversity," she said. "Topics range from wine to hunger in America to hummus."
Consistent with the spirit of diversity, the festival blends documentaries such as Les Blank's classic "Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers" with narrative films such as "Jadoo," a British comedy. Other films, notably "Make Hummus Not War," which assesses Middle East conflict and the vegetarian spread, examine food from an international perspective. In contrast, entries such as the short "Artisan Baker," a profile of Udi's Artisan Bakery's Maurizio Negrini, provide a local focus.
Sponsored by Lucky's Market, the festival is part of the University of Colorado's International Film Series, with most screenings taking place at CU's Muenzinger Auditorium.
In addition to films, the festival offers a wine tasting at Boulder's Bramble and Hare to accompany the documentary "Somm," which details the arduous process of becoming a master sommelier. Sommelier Julie Meyers of Clink! Educational Wine Events will lead the tasting, which will focus on quality vintages costing less than $15.
The screening of "Make Hummus Not War" will follow the Hummus Throwdown at Shine Restaurant and Gathering Spot on Oct. 13. The Throwdown will determine who makes the best chickpea puree. Entrants include Shine, Cured, Volta, Organilicious, Arabesque, Riffs, Oak at Fourteenth, Cafe Aion, The Kitchen, Udi's and chef Arik Marcus.
Local restaurateurs and other culinary luminaries will introduce each film. Frasca Food and Wine co-owner and master sommelier Bobby Stuckey will open the screening of "Somm," which features Dustin Wilson, a Frasca alum now at New York's Eleven Madison Park. The master sommelier examination is considered one of the most challenging in the world, with only 134 individuals currently holding the title. John Lehndorff, former Daily Camera food editor, will moderate a post-film panel with Front Range master sommeliers Wayne Belding, Douglas Krenik and Sally Mohr.
"A Place at the Table" assesses childhood hunger in America and hits particularly close to home as it focuses on food insecurity in the Colorado Western Slope community of Collbran. Suzanne Crawford, CEO of Lafayette's Sister Carmen Community Center, will introduce the documentary.
Chef Eric Skokan of Black Cat Farm-Table-Bistro and Bramble and Hare, will share his thoughts at the screening of the drama "Now, Forager," which spotlights the relationship between a chef and forager married to each other. An accomplished forager himself, Skokan said, "I'm fascinated by this film and the passion for finding things in the wild and turning the into great food."
Skokan believes the time and place is right for a festival such as Chow Down.
"You think, of course, obviously there should be a festival like this," he said. "Boulder's an incredibly diverse foodie town, especially for its size.
"Pulling together these films is a real celebration of who we are."