September 7, 2016 – St. John’s – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and the St. John’s Arts & Culture Centre (ACC) proudly present the Newfoundland premiere of two films about food waste and sustainability: HAND.LINE.COD. and THEATER OF LIFE, screening at the St. John’s ACC on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, 7 pm.
HAND. LINE.COD. is a short documentary that has its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and is directed by award-winning St. John’s-based filmmaker Justin Simms. Simms, in close collaboration with cinematographer Andrew MacCormack, follows a group of traditional Fogo Island fishers who catch cod live by hand, hook and line, one at a time. The fishers’ secret mission is to drive up the price of fish. After a 20-year moratorium on North Atlantic cod, the stocks are returning and these fishers are leading a revolution in sustainability, taking their premium product directly to commercial markets for the first time. Hand-lined cod fillets are making their debut in Toronto’s finest restaurants, where the city’s top chefs clamour for premium fish.
“This is the first film the NFB has made on Fogo Island in 50 years,” says Annette Clarke, Executive Producer, NFB – Atlantic & Quebec Studio. “It was about the fish in the 1960s, as it is now. This beautifully crafted story is a testament to the integrity and creativity of the ‘people of the fish’ on Fogo Island and a wonderful example of the notion of economy serving community.”
In the feature-length documentary THEATER OF LIFE, which has its world premiere this month at the San Sebastian Film Festival and, like HAND.LINE.COD., also screens at this year’s Atlantic Film Festival, Quebec-based director Peter Svatek follows renowned Italian chef Massimo Bottura as he goes on a mission to feed the disenfranchised with food waste from Milan’s World Expo, inside a high-style soup kitchen occupying an abandoned theatre.
Bottura, whose restaurant Osteria Francescana was named the world’s best in 2016, asked 60 international chefs – including Jeremy Charles of St. John’s, NL (Raymonds, The Merchant Tavern) and John Winter Russell of Montreal, QC (Candide) – to join him in transforming food destined for the dumpster into delicious and nutritious meals for residents in the Greco district of Milan, one of the city’s poorest neighbourhoods.
“From the outset, what fascinated me was the meeting of two worlds that don’t seem to fit together at all: haute cuisine and the best chefs in the world, and the world of the poor and hungry of Milan,” says director Peter Svatek. “That said, there is a movement among the very best chefs to make their cooking more relevant to real-world issues like poverty and food waste. Massimo says in the film that chefs can no longer cook just for the elite while ignoring ethical issues about how the rest of the planet is fed.”
THEATER OF LIFE goes far deeper than just detailing this important food story. It captures the moving encounters of guests at the soup kitchen who have found a welcoming community there, as well as their lives outside of this new-found community.
“This film draws very timely attention to the obvious issues of food security and food waste,” says Clarke, who co-produced THEATER OF LIFE with Josette Gauthier of Triplex Films. “And the more philosophical and perhaps urgent question: ‘are we our brother’s and sister’s keepers?’ It really puts a human face on its powerful message of social justice while raising awareness about the enormous environmental impact of food waste.”
A special fundraising event will take place at The Merchant Tavern following the film screening. All proceeds are going to support The Gathering Place. Tickets for the fundraiser are $100 each and will include a ticket to the film and entrance into a post-screening reception where Chef Jeremy Charles will use cod food waste to create delicious tapas. Tickets for this special post-screening fundraising event are available to purchase through The Gathering Place by contacting Director Joanne Thompson, email@example.com, 709-753-3226.
Tickets for the film screenings are $15 for adults and $12 for students available online at www.artsandculturecentre.com or at the St. John’s ACC box office (709-729-3900). Filmmakers will be in attendance.
St. John’s Arts & Culture Centre (ACC)
Online Screening Room: NFB.ca
For the ACC
Arts and Culture Centre (ACC)
For the NFB
Director, Communications, Marketing and Public Affairs
About the NFB
The NFB is Canada’s public producer of award-winning creative documentaries, auteur animation, and groundbreaking interactive stories, installations and participatory experiences. NFB producers are deeply embedded in communities across the country, working with talented artists and creators in production studios from St. John’s to Vancouver, on projects that stand out for their excellence in storytelling, their innovation, and their social resonance. NFB productions have won over 5,000 awards, including 15 Canadian Screen Awards, 17 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. To access many of these works, visit NFB.ca or download the NFB’s apps for mobile devices and connected TV.