“We’re not a food event,” clarified festival director and founder of Anonymous Felix Ng, who emphasised that the point of FoodCine.ma is to showcase the “the spirit of making things — and that extends to what we eat”.
The idea for this festival was born in 2013, but the organisers decided to first focus on making DFF more sustainable. According to Ng, it finally felt like “the right time” this year, with a growing appreciation of food culture.
While FoodCine.ma might seem like a runaway hit with audiences, Ng takes a more cautious approach due to the experimental nature of the film festival. He said the Singaporean appetite lies between two extremes.
FoodCine.ma will first open with the South-east Asian premiere of Noma: My Perfect Storm, which documents chef Rene Redzepi and his quest to reclaim the title of Best Restaurant for his eatery, Noma. Screened over two weekends in March at Shaw Lido, it serves as a preview of things to come before the festival kicks off proper at Objectifs with 10 feature-length films featuring topics ranging from molecular gastronomy and coffee culture to the future of food.
FoodCine.ma will also be airing 10 short films as bonus content before each screening. These include The Timmy Brothers (a video spoofing the artisanal food movement) and one about Hong Kong’s dai pai dong (a type of open-air food stall).
Besides film screenings, two specially commissioned food-related exhibitions will be held at Objectiffs. The first, by writing studio In Plain Words, examines how the act of eating together is facilitated through design; while research studio Atelier HOKO will be focusing on a common ingredient: Eggs.
Anonymous is also currently in discussions to hold satellite screenings at two F&B outlets whereby a special menu would be created based on the films.
Just as how DFF is entirely completely self-sustained through tickets and merchandise sales, FoodCine.ma will also have items such as tote bags and badges for sale.
Ng shared that the years of organising DFF has also translated to pay-offs for FoodCine.ma. “We’re now more experienced in film exhibition, negotiating rights and we’ve been refining the experience for the audience incrementally over the years,” he said. “For example, we designed our own online ticketing system to break away from existing ticketing platforms, so attendees save on paying a booking fee.”
So far, the response has been very encouraging. Ticket sales for Noma: My Perfect Storm, which started last Wednesday have been “overwhelming”.
Ultimately, Ng hopes to encourage Singaporeans to take an interest in what goes behind a final product, whether it’s a chair or the wine in your glass.
“Both (festivals) are about sharing what goes into making it — the people, the culture, the struggles,” Ng said. “That’s the kind of stories that we want to show through films.” SERENE LIM
According to todayonline