Wolfville, NS (September 10, 2019)– The world’s largest culinary film festival, Devour! The Food Film Fest (Devour!) announced the full film lineup for its 9th year at an event in Toronto with the Italian Trade Commission. Devour! takes place October 22-27, 2019 in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. The festival will screen 80+ new food-and-drink inspired films from 24 countries, with this year’s programming and theme centering around “Celebrating Italian Food & Cinema.”
“At its core, Devour! is first and foremost a film festival – but it’s so much more than a night at the movies,” says executive director Michael Howell. “For six days, Wolfville is transformed into a festival unlike any other, as we pair an array of mouth-watering dishes with captivating films, experiential workshops and 100+ events.”
This year’s opening gala film on Wednesday, October 23 marks the North American premiere of From the Vine, about a downtrodden man who finds new purpose in reviving his grandfather’s old vineyard in his travels back to his rural Italian hometown. The film’s multi-award-winning director Sean Cisterna and star Joe Pantoliano from the acclaimed television series The Sopranos will be in attendance.
Headlining the 2019 festival is award-winning chef, TV host, restaurateur and author Lidia Bastianich, who is curating a special presentation of Big Night on Thursday, October 24, about immigrant brothers from Italy who open their dream restaurant in New Jersey, directed by Campbell Scott and Stanley Tucci. Lidia will attend the all-female celebrity chef dinner inspired by the evening’s film and will hold a special book-signing of a selection of her award-winning cookbooks.
The festival will include 24 feature-length films including Maxima, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival Audience Award winner directed by Claudia Sparrow, which portrays a subsistence farmer’s courageous journey to stand against the destruction of resources and corporate intimidation; Honeyland, a multi-award winning documentary directed by Ljubomir Stefanov & Tamara Kotevska about a Balkan woman utilising ancient beekeeping traditions to cultivate honey in the mountains of Macedonia; and multi-award winning documentary Ghost Fleet, that uncovers the vast injustice of slavery in the Thai fishing industry through thrilling escape stories, directed by Shannon Service & Jeffrey Waldron.
“This year’s theme holds a special place in my heart. We’re bringing Italy to Nova Scotia with a solid line-up of films from Italy to complement an array of talented chefs from around the world,” says managing director Lia Rinaldo. “We’re delighted to be partnering with the Italian Trade Commission to bring amazing Italian products–like wines, cheese and prosciutto to Devour! this year.”
Thanks to a new partnership with the Italian Trade Commission festival goers can watch Italian programming including new serial episodes from David Rocco’s Dolce Italia with David in attendance, short films such as Distance – Short Stories About Food directed by Luigi Capasso and American Marriage directed by Giorgio Arcelli Fontana, and films focused around themes like Italian wine and olive oil. Nova Scotian shorts include That’s My Jazz directed by Ben Proudfoot and Kahawa directed by Janet Hawkwood.
Closing the festival is The Biggest Little Farm directed by John Chester, that chronicles the eight-year quest of John and Molly Chester as they trade city living for 200 acres of barren farmland and a dream to harvest in harmony with nature.
All films are eligible for the Devour! Golden Tine Awards, chosen by esteemed jurors Peter L. Stein (Frameline), Rita DeMontis (Toronto SUN) andJustin Johnson (British Film Institute). The Awards Brunch takes place on Sunday, October 27 at the Wolfville Farmers Market.
Other festival dinners include the Friday, October 25 Celebrity Chef Dinner based on the Spotlight Gala film Food Fighter (about food waste) directed by Dan Goldberg; the Saturday, October 26 Devour! Chefs and Short Gala Dinner featuring short films screened right in the iconic Barrel Cellar of Lightfoot & Wolfville Winery with the diners and inspiring chefs’ dishes; and the return of our popular Devour! Down Home Lobster Supper – also on Saturday, October 26.
Attendees will have their pick of experiential workshops and tasting tours, such as the Short Doc Shop Talkwith Filmmaker Ben Proudfoot, the Gleaning Expedition with FOUND Forgotten Food, the Zero Waste Workshop with Bob Blumer, and the Bubbles Bus tasting tour.
Culinary students from coast-to-coast will cook up a storm alongside festival chefs while also being featured on the big screen in both Merci Bocuse directed by Michael Nguyen, which follows Canadian chefs Trevor Ritchie and Jenna Reich as they head to the prestigious Bocuse d’Or chef competition in France and Stage: The Culinary Internship directed by Abby Ainsworth.
The first-wave of programming and ticket sales will be available at devourfest.com on September 11, 2019, with more tempting choices to come in the days following the initial program launch.
Devour! The Food Film Fest (Devour!) is a transformative food and film experience combining cinematic excellence with extraordinary gastronomic activities. The annual six-day festival hosts 100+ events, celebrated filmmakers and high-profile chefs from around the globe. Devour! takes place in Wolfville, Kings County, the agricultural heartland of Nova Scotia; home to a thriving wine industry and hospitable community with a longstanding farm-to-table ethos. Devour! aims to inspire people to think differently about food and create a deeper connection to it.
About Wolfville, N.S.
Only one hour from Halifax and Stanfield International Airport, Devour! takes place in the culinary epicenter of Nova Scotia. Wolfville, Kings County is home to a thriving wine industry, fertile farmland and is known as the agricultural heartland of the province. A rich cultural landscape infuses the region and its people with a respect for the surrounding riches.