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Edible: NYC Food Film Festival Makes Movie Munchies A Reality

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The fifth annual NYC Food Film Festival is about to get started at TriBeCa Cinemas, allowing moviegoers to taste the food they see on-screen. Edible Magazine's Rachel Wharton filed the following report.

Next Thursday night, the fifth annual NYC Food Film Festival kicks off at TriBeCa Cinemas.

The four-day fest was organized by filmmaker George Motz and event planner Seth Unger. This year, they're showing 28 short films on everything from fried octopus to perfect cupcakes, but the best part is that participants get to taste what's on-screen.

“If you see something, you're gonna eat it. Sometimes it's going to be served to you literally in your seat — you know, you're watching the film and you're salivating and someone hands it to you — and other times you're served it in the after party or the pre-party,” says Unger.

“As films come in, we try to figure out how can we bring this film to life? How can we get that food? Can we bring it in, can we fly it in, can we bring in the chef?” says Motz.

“For example, the place we're in now, Ronnybrook Milk Bar, we're here because we have a film about Ronnybrook Farm Sunday night at the festival, our farm-to-film-to-table night. Chef Amanda Frietag is going to be there cooking up a storm and Ronnybrook, we have a wonderful film about them that talks about the farm, and how they do their milk and the cows that sleep on mattresses. I mean, it's really wonderful, much nicer than my apartment,” says Unger. “But so, we try to integrate it, so not only do we show the film, we have a Ronnybrook ice cream bar where people will be able to taste all their flavors.”

This year, the fest has six separate showcases, including those on beer and burgers and an enormous Peruvian party. That's a big change since Motz started the fest in 2007.

“It was literally me with a projector, and I'd get up on stage and I'd say okay people, and there were 10 people, here we go, here's a film, and I would run back up to the DVD player and hit play and it would stop and not work,” says Motz.

“I think he's lying, though. Were there really 10 people there?” says Unger.

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