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Flatirons Food Film Festival

October 10-13, 2019 will bring the seventh Flatirons Food Film Festival to Boulder, a carefully-curated smorgasbord of local, national and international films, speakers, art, and special events. This year’s festival features an exploration into immigrants and international cuisine that will include a tribute to Diana Kennedy, a British expatriate known by some as the Julia Child of Mexico, on the Saturday night.


The tribute will begin with a Mexican feast, and end with a discussion with James Beard semi-finalist Chef Claudette Zepeda, a San Diego-based chef most recently known for her time as the executive chef and partner behind El Jardín, a regional Mexican restaurant in San Diego, and Top Chef Denver. Inspired by the regional cuisines of Mexico where her passion for food was first cultivated, El Jardín was an expression of Zepeda’s culinary journey as a chef.


Other films with backdrops of immigrants and international cuisine screening on Saturday, October 12 include:

  • Tazzeka, a coming-of-age drama set in Morocco, at 1pm

  • Cook Off, a romantic comedy about a single mother competing in a televised chefs contest in Zimbabwe, at 3:30pm


The Festival’s opening night on Thursday, October 11 at the Boulder Public Library, will also explore immigrant contributions to our culinary melting pot, starting with two episodes from the Emmy Award-winning series The Migrant KitchenOmotenashi and The Jewish Deli. During the intermission, Miksaki at Superior and Rosenbergs Bagels & Delicatessen, respectively, will offer tastes of Japanese and Jewish deli food. A selection of visual art works inspired by these films, created by local artists, will be on display before the program and a complete exhibition of all of the works created will be on display at R Gallery from October 3-20.


Overview: Events prior to the Festival


Prior to the Festival, in collaboration with Alamo Drafthouse Westminster and Local Table Tours, the Festival will offer two tantalizing events as appetizers. The Alamo Drafthouse Westminster and Festival will co-present a screening of one of the Festival’s most popular films, Tampopo, on September 28. Also to whet appetites, Megan Bucholz of Local Table Tours will lead a Downtown Boulder culinary walking tour of Mexico’s best‑known culinary export: tacos and tequila cocktails, on Oct 2.


Overview: other Festival films and events


As part of its seventeen programs, the Festival will screen the latest SOMM wine documentary, SOMM 3, with an all-star panel of Master Sommeliers: Dustin Wilson of Verve Wine, Bobby Stuckey of Frasca Food and Wine, and Sabato Sagaria of bartaco, on October 11. Bees and other pollinators receive some much-needed attention with a screening of The Pollinators documentary, and two other pollinator events on Oct. 13, including a talk given by Tim Brod of Highland Honey on how to attract pollinators to gardens and farms.


The Festival wraps up Sunday Oct 13 with a screening of The Biggest Little Farm, followed by Eric and Jill Skokan, co-owner of the Black Cat Farm and Black Cat and Bramble and Hare restaurants, discussing the ups and downs of their own biggest little farm, then a dinner paying homage to Black Cat Farm and The Biggest Little Farm at Bramble and Hare restaurant.


Short films, including our Colorado Student Film Contest winning films, get their moment in the sun during “Small Bites: Short Films for Food People” at eTown on Saturday, October 12, at 12:30 pm. Madison Santamaria of CU-Denver has won the grand prize with Yubikiri. Leilani Osmundson with Cake Mix and Aabriti Shrestha and Sophia Schelle with ControlCU-Boulder students and an alum, were the other winners.


Reel Kids will teach kids how to smart make food films after getting inspiration from food films made by Reel Kids students at “Film-making for Kids” on Saturday, October 12, 10am at the Boulder Public Library.


“A #MeToo Look at the Restaurant Industry” is one of two lectures in our new lecture series on Saturday, October 12 at 11am. Restaurant industry insiders Beth Gruitch, a partner in the Crafted Concepts restaurant group, and Sara Brito, Co-Founder of the Good Food Media Network and publisher of the Good Food 100 Restaurants™, will share their insights on this topic. The other lecture will be with Zepeda on the same day at 3pm. There will be some overlapping programs on Saturday, October 12 to accommodate our growing number of programs.


The Festival’s “Tribute to Diana Kennedy” program on Saturday, Oct. 13 will start with an authentic Mexican feast and continue with a screening of Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy, a new film that is the first and only documentary on Kennedy. After the film, Andra Zeppelin, former editor of Eater Denver, will interview Chef Zepeda, and moderate the Q&A that will follow.

Most films and events will take place in downtown Boulder, allowing festival participants to walk to and from films to downtown Boulder hotspots and festival events. The majority of film screenings will be located at the Canyon Theater of the Boulder Public Library, Main Branch. The festival will also screen films at eTown, and the International Film Series at Muenzinger Auditorium on the CU-Boulder campus in Boulder.

Festival Schedule

The Festival will include the following films  (additional events and speakers will be announced later) -:


Saturday, Sept. 28, 4pm, Alamo Drafthouse Westminster (8905 Westminster Blvd, Westminster)

TAMPOPO: Known as one of the best food films of all time, this delectable film is the tale of an enigmatic band of ramen ronin who guide the widow of a noodle shop owner on her quest for the perfect recipe.

Wednesday, Oct. 2, 4:30pm, various locations in downtown Boulder
Get Spicy: Tacos and Tequila Tasting Tour: Pre-festival tacos and tequila tasting tour in downtown Boulder led by Megan Bucholz of Local Table Tours. Follow Megan and eat, drink, walk, repeat through three locally owned taquerias, tasting unique tacos and tequila cocktails at all of them.

Thursday, Oct. 3, 10am - Oct. 20th, 6pm at R Gallery (2027 Broadway, Boulder) 
Cinematic Art Exhibition: Rob Lantz, owner of R Gallery recruited eight local artists to create art inspired by the following Festival films: Omotenashi and The Jewish Deli, two episodes of the Emmy Award-winning The Migrant Kitchen series, and Tazzeka. It will stage a show exhibiting all eight works of art, that will take place October 3-20, from one week before, to one week after the Festival.


Thursday, Oct. 10, Canyon Theater, Boulder Public Library (1001 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder)

       6:30-7:30pm: Art Inspired by Omontenashi and The Jewish Deli, films from The Migrant Kitchen series. A temporary exhibition of work created by four local visual artists who were inspired by these films.

       THE MIGRANT KITCHEN: A documentary series that highlights a new generation of LA chefs whose cuisine is inspired by the immigrant experience. We will screen Omontenashi and The Jewish Deli. Tastes of Japanese and Jewish deli food will be available in-between the films.   

Friday, Oct. 11, Canyon Theater, Boulder Public Library (unless otherwise noted)

       6:30-7:30pm: Colorado wine sampling reception for SOMM 3.

       7:30pm, SOMM 3: In this third installment of the hit documentary SOMM, legendary wine experts Steven Spurrier, Jancis Robinson, and Fred Dame blind taste the rarest bottles of their storied careers. Also featured in this, and all three SOMM films, is Dustin Wilson, who gathers some of the younger generations’ greatest blind tasters for a Burgundy wine blind-tasting. Dustin Wilson will introduce the film in person, and after the film, will be joined by Master Sommeliers Bobby Stuckey, owner of Frasca Food & Wine in Boulder, and Sabato Sagaria, President of bartaco in New York, for a discussion about the film. Ray Snead of Cocktailpunk will moderate.

       10-11:30pm, Jax Fish House (928 Pearl St., Boulder), who just received the 2019 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence: SOMM 3 after-party.

Saturday, Oct. 12, Canyon Theater, Boulder Public Library (unless otherwise noted)

       10:30am-12 noon: Children’s program with a screening of short food films made by kids, and a filmmaking workshop.

       11am-12 noon: Boulder Creek Room, Boulder Public Library: Lecture on the #MeToo movement in the restaurant industry.

       12-1pm: Art Inspired by Tazzeka: A temporary exhibition of work created by four local visual artists who were inspired by Tazzeka.

       12:30-2:30pm: eTown (1535 Spruce Street, Boulder): Short film program with the top three Colorado Student Film contest winners, and other short food films.

       1pm: (Canyon Theater, Boulder Public Library) TAZZEKA: A drama about a young man’s passion for food, love, and following his dreams. Growing up in a Moroccan village, Elias learned the secrets of traditional Moroccan cuisine from his grandmother and poured over Escoffier’s Larousse Gastronomique. Years later, meeting a top Paris chef and a young woman inspires Elias to leave for Paris where he faces hardship as an undocumented immigrant.

       3-4pm: Boulder Creek Room, Boulder Public Library: Lecture with Chef Zepeda, which addresses how Mexican food cultures are interwoven with food cultures throughout the world. For instance, a woman in Sonora is using exactly the same comal as a woman making flatbread in the Middle East.

       3:30-6pm: COOK OFF: In this romantic comedy from Zimbabwe, single mother Anesu's life is turned upside down when her son enters her into a televised chefs challenge show. A fascinating view of contemporary life in Harare, told through the lens of a classic romantic comedy.

       6-7pm, Mexican Cuisine Reception for Nothing Fancy.

       7-9:45pm, NOTHING FANCY: A candid and frank look at the life and work of the influential champion of authentic Mexican cuisine, Diana Kennedy. The British-born author, environmentalist, and television personality, Kennedy is one of our most celebrated chefs and cookbook writers. Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy is a candid and frank look at her life and work.

       10-11:30pm, Bramble and Hare (1970 13th St., Boulder): Nothing Fancy After Party.

Sunday, Oct. 13, Muenzinger Auditorium with the International Film Series, CU-Boulder campus (unless otherwise noted)

       1pm: THE POLLINATORS: A documentary that presents the story of the traveling bees that pollinate the crops throughout the nation and their keepers. It also delves into the environmental hazards that are killing all bees, citing organic agriculture as part of the solution.

        3pm: BIGGEST LITTLE FARM: A lively documentary that chronicles the eight-year journey of John and Molly Chester after they traded city living for 200 acres of barren farmland. Through embracing the opportunity provided by nature's conflicts, they unlock and uncover a biodiverse design for living that transforms and regenerates the farm.

       7pm: Bramble and Hare (1970 13th St., Boulder): The Biggest Little Farm dinner with Eric and Jill Skokan, who will explain the dishes and tell stores about their biggest little farm.

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Later Event: October 11
Far Out Factory