SCREEN Bites, the Dorset-based food and film festival, returns in October for the eighth year, with a programme that combines some of the finest food and drink from Dorset, Wiltshire and Somerset, with outstanding films from around the world.
This year’s festival, running from 4th October to 3rd November features several new films – including an Oscar-winning short film receiving its UK premiere – and many new producers, joining regular farm shops, farmers and other food businesses at the mini farmers markets which open the evenings in village halls across the area.
Screen Bites is the country’s only film festival that shows food-themed films such as Julie and Julia, Babette’s Feast, Chocolat, Eat Drink Man Woman and many more, with local producers offering their food for tasting and sale.
This year’s films include the UK premiere of the witty musical West Bank Story, a 20 minute version of Romeo and Juliet/West Side Story set on the West Bank where an Israeli soldier falls in love with an Arab girl, against the background of the Jewish-run Kosher Kabin and the Hummous Hut, run by the girl’s Palestinian family. Made for his graduation project by University of California film student Ari Sandel, it won the 2006 Best Short Film Oscar.
Another UK premiere is When Do We Eat? – the hilarious story of the ultimate dysfunctional Jewish family preparing for the Passover Seder feast.
The Israeli/Palestinian theme continues with screenings of Amreeka at Broadwindsor and The Lemon Tree at the Rex Cinema, Wareham, at a joint Screen Bites and Purbeck Film Festival evening. The audience at the Rex will be able to sample preserved lemons and other Middle Eastern and Palestinian products.
Other films this year which are new to Screen Bites audiences include the highly praised Italian-Russian film I Am Love, starring Tilda Swinton, this year’s runaway smash hit The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, New York-based comedy Today’s Special, about a haute cuisine trained Indian chef who has to save his family’s traditional curry house, and the darkly funny Dinner Rush, described as The Sopranos meet Masterchef.
There are many new food producers taking part, including Primrose’s Kitchen, Angel Cottage Organics, the Watercress Company, Dorset Charcuterie Company, Miss Marshmellow and The Uncommon Pig. And new venues include the village halls at Bradford Abbas, North Cadbury, Milborne Port, Holdenhurst near Bournemouth and Portesham.
The festival has been sponsored since its inception in 2005 by Sturminster Newton-based Olives Et Al. Other supporters include Dorset’s Famous Five, who sponsored the festival’s award-winning website, www.screenbites.co.uk, as well as individual food producers including The Dorset Coffee Company, Delicious Dorset, Dorset Blue Vinny and Blue Soup, Hall & Woodhouse, The Dorset Game Larder, The Guild of Fine Food, and Mere Fish Farm.
For more information visit the website, www.screenbites.co.uk, email email@example.com or pick up a programme at a tourist office, farm shop or arts or community centre near you.