Berlin International Film Festival’s Culinary Cinema

The iconic festival celebrates food in cinema

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

People find themselves in Germany for many things, whether it’s a hankering for currywurst, a trip to Munich for Oktoberfest, or a walk down the red carpet at the annual Berlin International Film Festival. The festival runs from Feb. 9 to 19, and it's especially notable for its incredibly unique Culinary Cinema section (Feb. 12 to 17), now in its sixth year.   

The theme for this year’s culinary cinema program is "Trust in Taste." All 15 films that are being screened will feature food prominently. From bringing together two generations in a family or helping to relive memories long past, there is no doubt that food plays a powerful role in every individual’s life, making it prime fodder for the movies. Dieter Kosslick, director of the Berlin International Film Festival, says the motto is about placing trust in the taste of food and not in what the packaging or label tells us. It’s ultimately about trusting our own sense of taste.

This year’s lineup of culinary cinema will leave viewers hungry for more. Some of the films include Last Call at the Oasis, Canela, Oma & Bella, and Comme un Chef. Last Call at the Oasis, from Academy Award-winning director Jessica Yu, is about the often ignored but urgent global water crisis; Canela is a charming story about a granddaughter’s mission to get her grandmother to regain her passion for food; and Comme un Chef focuses on one chef’s campaign to keep his Michelin stars despite his restaurant's owner lobbying for a younger chef who’s on trend with molecular gastronomy. Then, Oma & Bella (pictured) is a film by newcomer Alexa Karolinski. It shows the world of two older women who are friends living together in Berlin, after surviving the Holocaust. Their bond is intrinsically tied to the foods they make and eat. (Photo courtesy of Alexa Karolinski)

Check out descriptions and schedules of all 15 films featured in the culinary cinema section of the festival. If you can’t make it to Germany, we suggest keeping an eye out for Whole Foods’ Do Something Reel Film Festival. Although 2012 dates have not yet been announced, the festival has been a success since its start in 2010. Last year, it featured films that explored environmental and sustainability issues in honor of Earth month. More information about the festival can be found on their web site

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