"GMO OMG," a documentary about genetically modified organisms in food, will kick off Slow Food Park City’s Food and Film Weekend on
"GMO OMG," a documentary about genetically modified organisms in food, will kick off Slow Food Park City's Food and Film Weekend on Thursday, April 10. Park City Film Series and ProUpdater are the main sponsors. (Photo courtesy of GMOfilm.com)
When a group of concerned residents established Slow Food Park City a little more than three years ago, it wanted to educate the community about the benefits of healthy and sustainable eating.

The group wanted to help residents buy from local farmers and producers that care about the food they grew.

During those formative meetings, Slow Food Park City organizers also discussed other ideas that would bring a unique value to Park City, said Ken Block, a member of the leadership team for Slow Food Park City.

"We wanted the events to be more grand-scale, such as the Meet the Producers we held at the Swaner EcoCenter last week where more than 600 people swamped the Swaner to meet local food providers and farmers," Block said during an interview with The Park Record. "The other is the Food and Film Weekend we do with the Park City Film Series."

Slow Food Park City and the Park City Film Series will present the third annual Food and Film Weekend at the Jim Santy Auditorium from Thursday, April 10, through Sunday, April 13.

"The idea of food and film seemed a natural, especially in Park City," Block said. "With Sundance Film Festival and all the great restaurants starting to cater to the 'local-voire' concept, the idea is spreading out from Main Street throughout the Basin.

"The only thing we couldn't do was hold this on skis and mountain bikes, but who knows, maybe that will happen in the future," he said with a laugh. "At any rate, this was the next best idea.


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Last year's Food and Wine Weekend was scheduled for three nights, but this year's is on for four, and will start on Thursday with a free Reel Community Series screening of Jeremy Seifert's 2013 documentary "GMO OMG."

From Friday, April 11, through Sunday, April 13, the Food and Film weekend will continue with three different films — Ridley Scott's "A Good Year," Alexander Payne's 2004 comedy drama "Sideways" and Alfonso Arau's 1992 romance "Like Water for Chocolate."

"The Park City Film Series let us come up with which films would be best to screen this year," Block said.

Katharine Wang, Park City Film Series executive director, said this event is exciting for the community because it will not only entertain, but also educate.

"During 'GMO OMG' the people seeing the film will get an idea of what GMOs are, which is important because the general population in the United States doesn't really quite understand what they are," Wang said. "GMO stands for genetically modified organisms that are in most of the foods we consume."

The film is about the director's journey with his family as he talks with farmers in the field and straightening out the conversation about GMOs, she said.

"It's not about creating fear in people, but to give people an idea of what this is all about," Wang explained.

"A Good Year," which is based on the best-selling book by Peter Mayle, stars Russell Crowe and Albert Finney.

"Russell plays an investment banker in London who is tasked with selling a vineyard owned in Provence by his late uncle," Wang said. "Of course, he falls in love with this French woman and finds his heart. It's about the discovery of what the meaning of life really is."

"Sideways," which stars Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church, is an interesting and funny film about the celebration of wine, Wang said. "It's a great, on-the-road story and these two men, one who is about to be married, embark on a trip through wine country," she said.

Wang is looking most forward to "Like Water for Chocolate."

"This film is also based on a book," she said. "It's taken from the novel by Laura Esquival and is a fantasy-romance as only Mexican literature can produce."

The story follows a young woman whose mother won't let her marry unless her older sisters marry first.

"The family discovers the food she cooks is infused with her emotions and when they eat the wedding cake, they all start crying because they are feeling her loss of a loved one," Wang said. "I love Mexican literature because it is so fantastical and this film, which was the highest-grossing Spanish-language film when it was released, shows how that's infused in every-day life."

During the Food and Film Weekend, Slow Food Park City will host different foodie events in conjunction with the screenings, Block said.

  • After Thursday's screening, a panel — featuring Fred Montague, Professor Emeritus in biology from the University of Utah, and Andrea Morgan, an organic farmer working at Ranui Gardens — will discuss GMOS and answer any questions from the audience.

  • Friday's event will feature a four-course meal at the Silver Star Cafe, immediately following the screening. The dinner is sold out, but tickets to the screening are still available by visiting www.parkcityfilmseries.com .

  • On Saturday, the post-screening event will be a wine and pizza tasting event at the Jim Santy Auditorium. There are still tickets available for $29 each. They can be purchased by visiting www.eventbrite.com/e/food-film-weekend-tickets-11103315315 .

  • The Sunday screening will be preceded by a gourmet bake sale at 5:30 p.m., featuring goods from Luann's Cupcakes, Ellies Cooking and Catering, Deer Valley, Silver Restaurant and Whole Foods.

    Admission to the sale is included in the regular Sunday screening ticket price, but the profits from the sale will benefit Slow Food Park City.

    These events are also sponsored by ProUpdater, a Park City-based social and digital media company.

    "What we are trying to do is incorporate a combination of education and fun with the screenings," Block said. "This is the first year we're holding wine tastings, and to me, wine and food are pretty symbiotic.

    "Park City has been good to us and what a great way to give back to the community," he said. "We are all about helping people develop a good understanding of where our food comes from and what's good and what's bad."

    Slow Food Park City and the Park City Film Series will present the Food and Film Weekend at the Jim Santy Auditorium at the Park City Library and Education Center, 1255 Park Ave., from April 10 through April 13. Screenings held Thursday through Saturday will start at 7 p.m. Sunday's screening will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday's screening is free. Tickets for other screenings are $7 for adults and $6 for students and senior citizens. They can be purchased by visiting www.parkcityfilmseries.com .