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Berlinale exports food sidebar

San Sebastian, Transatlantyk adopt Culinary Cinema

Berlinale topper Dieter Kosslick’s passion for food and film is catching on across Europe.

He introduced the fest’s Culinary Cinema sidebar in 2007 and it quickly became a favorite. Now Spain’s San Sebastian Film Festival and the new Transatlantyk Poznan Film and Music Festival in Poland are adopting the format.

San Seb’s Culinary Zinema, which runs Sept. 16-24, opens with the doc “Mugaritz BSO” by Felipe Ugarte and Juantxo Sardon. Musician Ugarte and Andoni Luis Aduriz, chef of San Sebastian restaurant Mugaritz, fuse music and food.

Other titles in the showcase, pairing screenings with themed dinners, are “El Bulli: Cooking in Progress,” “The Way of the Wine,” “Romantics Anonymous,” “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” “Noma — At Boiling Point” and “Perfect Sense.”

Fest director Jose Luis Rebordinos said, “When we created our own section on cinema and gastronomy, we decided the best way to do so would be by working with one of the biggest festivals worldwide, the Berlinale. Thus we would be able to draw on its experience and prestige in both worlds: cinema and cuisine.”

Transatlantyk’s Kino Kulinarne runs Aug. 7-12 at the fest, which kicks off Friday. It will unspool five films from the Berlinale’s repertoire accompanied by meals created by Woijech Modest Amaro, who has worked at top restaurants in Europe, including El Bulli in Spain and Noma in Denmark.

Transatlantyk founder and composer Jan Kaczmarek said, “I believe bringing the program to Poland will reinforce the already growing support for the Slow Food philosophy, making our quality of life better. It willincrease awareness of the dangers of environmental damage caused by industrial food production and transportation.”Kosslick likened the growing interest in Culinary Cinema to the international success of other Berlinale initiatives.

“The event, which was first presented in 2007 to bring together the worlds of food, film, culture and ecology, is attracting ever more followers internationally.

Many filmmakers are investigating this important topic. Like the Berlinale Talent Campus, which in the interim is held in five other countries, and the World Cinema Fund, which backs film productions in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Central and South East Asia as well as the Caucasus, Culinary Cinema is now on its way to an international career.”Kosslick is being feted at the Museum of Modern Art in New York this month to celebrate his 10th year as Berlinale director as well as his engagement in issues related to food and ecology and their cultural and cinematic significance.

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