Alaska Food Film Festival Hits the Spot
By: Shannon Kuhn | 18 April, 2012 | 132 Views
The Alaska Center for the Environment and the Bear Tooth Theater and Pub go together like peanut butter and jelly, cookies and milk, and barbecue and potato salad.
Okay, I’m done making analogies. They’re making me hungry.
The only thing that could make the Alaska Center for the Environment and the Bear Tooth Theatrepub working together even better, in my opinion, is local food and films about it. Luckily for me, such an event existed: The Alaska Food Film Festival.
I got the chance to attend the film festival last week to watch The Vanishing of the Bees, and to chat with Nick Moe, with the Alaska Center for the Environment, about the event.
The goals of the festival, Moe said, were threefold: to kick off the growing season for farms and gardens, to celebrate food all the different ways we love it, and to connect people with local food resources.
“We’ve been successful, bringing in a lot of people who might not have thought about local food and might not know the options available to support our farmers here in Alaska,” Moe said.
This was the festival’s third year, and Moe was excited by the high quality of films they were able to screen.
“What’s on Your Plate?” attracted families and taught them about the politics of school lunch systems, and the efforts being made to include fresh foods. This is applicable to Alaska as the Alaska Farm to School program is attempting to do just that. Learn more about Alaska Farm to School at http://dnr.alaska.gov/ag/ag_FTS.htm or https://www.facebook.com/#!/AlaskaFarmToSchool.
“Jiro Dreams of Sushi” was also a popular film, bringing in 250 people for its first showing. Moe guessed the popularity came from the fact that Alaskans eat a lot of fresh seafood and feel very connected to sushi. As a sushi lover myself, I have to agree with him. My sushi addiction is forever connected to my dwindling bank account.
The film festival also featured regular “Store Outside Your Door” shorts, produced by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, which showed Chef Rob Kineen preparing dishes from harvested Alaskan foods, like blueberries.
The Bear Tooth Theatrepub was a perfect place for the Food Film Festival to be held. After all, the Bear Tooth is one of the largest purchasers of Alaska Grown produce in the state. Last year they bought 2,000 pounds of romaine lettuce and 24,000 pounds of Alaskan seafood, and often plan their specials around what is available at the Spenard Farmers Market.
This year the festival was sponsored by The Spenard Roadhouse Restaurant and Bar, the Spenard Farmers Market, the Mall at Sears, Alaska Grown, Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage, Alaska Nut and Honey and Great Northern Brewers Club. If you’re into food, community, and film, be sure to make it to the festival next year, too.
Shannon Kuhn, Co-Founder
Born on the coast of South Korea and raised in Anchorage, Shannon is a lifelong Alaskan with a kimchi twist. She lives to eat adventurously, meet new people, and learn about different cultures and places. She is passionate about reconnecting with her food heritage, as well as the soil it was grown in.