We present a list of five films you should not miss at the 5th Seoul International Food Film Festival which will take place from September 6th – 11th, in Seoul, Korea.
About the festival:
The Seoul International Food Film Festival (SIFFF) is the first film festival in Korea to an event to present outstanding, thought-provoking food films and celebrate diversity of food and lifestyle from different cultures. The festival also aims to provide time for relaxing and healing, not to mention, to raise public awareness on sustainable and healthy eating.
“Picnic Cat” is a social enterprise founded 8 years ago by resourceless youths and adults. It was set up to help youths out of the basic education system to gain independence. Picnic Cat makes and delivers lunch boxes, and it started as a tiny shop with sales recording lesser then 10 million won in the spring of 2014. Surprisingly, the sales reached over 50 million won after three years, increasing over five times. What happened in this shop and what have these resourceless youths done between this period? Director Lee Suk-gyung started shooting when Picnic Cat was much smaller. While shooting, she thought that this documentary might capture the failing process of Picnic Cat. However, the shop made a success making sales five times more. The director raises a question here. Does this success mean that Picnic Cat has achieved its original goal? The documentary depicts the people swinging between living and humanity and the dilemma of this question. (SIFFF Website)
September 8th | Sunday | Daehan 1 | 12:30 pm
Chen Liang, a young Chinese man, is an illegal immigrant in Japan. He left his hometown where he lived with his ill mother and grandmother. He wanted a new life to get away from the responsibilities and family pressures. He decides to move to Japan and start his new life, however, living in a new environment is not easy. One day, he receives a call about a job offer meant for someone else. He decides to pretend to be someone else in his desperation in order to survive, and starts working at a traditional Japanese soba restaurant. He starts his new life living and working with the elderly soba master with the fear that his identity could be exposed at any moment. As the director stated, this film is about human involvement, or rather, about a young man who continues to run away from his situations and several persons who are willing to get involved with him. This delicate, well-made debut feature by director Chikeura Kei is definitely worth watching. (SIFFF Website)
September 7th | Saturday | Daehan 2 | 10:30 am
September 9th | Monday | Seoul Namsan Gukakdang | 19:30 pm
Ronni Kahn used to be a contributor to Australia‘s annual $20 billion food waste bill when she ran a successful corporate events company producing million-dollar dinners. Then she realized the absurdity of throwing away perfectly edible food, and traded capitalism for social activism by founding OzHarvest, a food rescue charity, in 2004. Now, she‘s taking on politicians and big business to expose an inconvenient truth: that four million tons of edible food is discarded in Australia every year while up to two million Aussies suffer from food insecurity. And to add insult to injury, this food waste ends up in landfill, harming the environment by creating greenhouse gas emissions. Filmed over two years and across four continents, ‘Food Fighter‘‘ follows Ronni‘s crusade against the global food waste scandal, partnering with the United Nations in Bangkok, rubbing shoulders with British royalty and Jamie Oliver‘s juggernaut in London, and holding government to account in Australia. The film is about food waste, but it is also a character study of a global change-maker. (SIFFF Website)
September 6th | Friday | Seoul Namsan Gukakdang | 20:15 pm
Yumi and her boyfriend have been together for a long time and they promised to get married. Yumi’s boyfriend is now working at Nagoya and Yumi didn’t hear from him these days. She tells her family that it isn’t a big deal, but deep in her mind, Yumi feels uneasy and confused. To get over her anxiety and restore the relationship with her boyfriend, Yumi takes off to Nagoya to see him. She hopes to surprise her finance, but what she finds is a strange woman at his apartment. The woman tells Yumi that they have been together for some time, and plan to get married soon. Yumi has nowhere to go, but she does not want to go back to Korea like this. Wandering the streets, Yumi unexpectedly finds a café located on a dead end. She decides to stay there for a while. At the café, Yumi meets new people in this unfamiliar place and slowly, her wounds begin to heal.
September 9th | Monday | Daehan 2 | 20:00 pm
Masato is a young ramen chef in the city of Takasaki in Japan. After the sudden death of his emotionally distant father, he chances upon a suitcase of memorabilia and a red notebook – filled with musings and old photos – left behind by his Singaporean mother who died when he was just 10 years old. Acting on a hunch, he takes off for Singapore with the notebook, hoping to piece together the story of his life, as well as that of his parents. He meets Miki, a Japanese food blogger and single mother who helps him find his maternal uncle Ah Wee, who runs a bak kut teh (pork rib soup) stall. Masato discovers that his grandmother is still alive, and that she holds the key to the tender yet turbulent love story of his parents. Masato and grandmother try to heal each other’s broken soul, and find salvation in the kitchen where the meals they cook become more than the sum of their ingredients. In this gastronomic comedy, Japan and Singapore’s dishes bring memories and forgiveness together.
September 10th | Tuesday | X | 17:30 pm
For more information about the program and schedule please visit the official website of the festival: SIFFF Website