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New York Food Film Fest has expanding appetite

Sixth edition kicks off Wednesday as event adds another city

New Yorkers love to eat and love movies, so it’s only natural that someone would combine those passions into one delicious festival.

Filmmaker, d.p. and hamburger expert George Motz got the idea for the festival after 250 people showed up at a restaurant to try burgers and watch his film “Hamburger America.”

So six years ago, Motz started the New York Food Film Festival, creating a series of frequently sold-out events where the audiences watch culinary-centric-pics while tasting foods related to the films.

The fest proved so popular that Motz, co-founder Harry Hawk and the fest’s exec producer Seth Unger launched a Chicago edition three years ago and are poised to announce the expansion to another city. This year’s Gotham edition runs Wednesday to Sunday at Brooklyn’s Indiescreen and the AMC Village 7 in the East Village.

The kickoff event at New York Distilling Company opens with feature docu “Whisky: The Islay Edition” and of course, a tasting of rare whiskies accompanied by bagpipers. More than 40 films — mostly shorts — are organized into appetizing events over the five days.

“There’s a tremendous push to understanding where your food comes from,” Motz said. “It’s a very focused, intense food crowd.”

Motz makes sure the films celebrate food, rather than scolding — and none too appetizing — screeds against factory farming or pesticides. Thursday’s program revolves around the recent upsurge of interest in butchery, with a screening of docu “Meat Hooked!” and plenty of cured meats on the menu, while Sunday’s closing night event is a 300-person Low Country oyster roast with a screening of Motz’s new film “The Mud and the Blood” about traditional foods of South Carolina.

Fest also incorporates a charitable component benefitting the Food Bank for New York City.

More info: NYCFoodFilmFestival.com

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