For the first time, programmers have included a special food presentation. This translates as the showcasing of one Western and one Eastern film to correlate with the city’s history.
As a former Portuguese colony, sitting off the Southern tip of mainland China, Macau has many influences and is in a prime position to claim flavorsome food culture connections. Macau was recently honored as a city of gastronomy by UNESCO, which added the Special Administrative Region to its Creative Cities Network.
Several European film festivals have followed the lead of the Berlinale and added culinary sections in recent years. IFFAM artistic director, Mike Goodridge says he was inspired to do so in Macau when he learned of the UNESCO decoration.
His picks are “The Last Recipe,” from Japan, and “C’est La Vie,” directed by popular French duo, Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache. In “C’est La Vie” a chef’s skills are put to the test when every goes wrong at a destination wedding he is catering for in a chateau far away from his restaurant. In “The Last Recipe,” a chef with an incredible memory for flavors is challenged to put on a 112-course dinner in honor of the Japanese emperor as he visits Japanese-controlled Manchukuo.
This year’s festival has another connection between film and food. Asian superstar, Michelle Yeoh, who is the IFFAM guest of honor, recently starred in Gina Kim’s “Final Recipe,” another foodie competition tale, set in Shanghai.
Macau’s own restaurants and shops showcase many different cuisines, including its own Macaense food, which is a mix of African, Indian, Southeast Asian, Portuguese and Chinese cuisines that correspond to the city’s immigrant and trading history.