Snail Meets Bear

The curtain has risen at the Berlinale Palast for the 57th Berlin International Film Festival. From February 8 to 18, the festival will screen 373 films on some 50 cinema screens all over the city. International guests, packed theaters, hot debates, wild parties — the Berlinale will take over Berlin like no other event on the calendar. And Slow Food will be there.

Present for the second year running, the association will be the star attraction at not one but two important events. The first will be the screening on February 12 of Taggart Siegel’s The Real Dirt on Farmer John, the film that won first prize in the ‘Documentaries’ section of the Slow Food on Film Festival in Bra, Italy, in May, followed by a talk between Slow Food president Carlo Petrini, Otto Geisel, a renowned German chef and president of Slow Food Germany, Bobby Brauer, another up-and-coming chef and Michael Ballhaus, director of photography in Martin Scorsese movies such as The Departed, The Age of Innocence, Gangs of New York and Goodfellas. The evening will end with a dinner inspired by Siegel’s film.

The day after, February 13, will see a screening of the best shorts from the Slow Food on Film Festival, handpicked by artistic director Stefano Sardo. The show will be a prompt for Carlo Petrini to speak about the philosophy of the Slow Food Association: summed up in three words, that means ‘Good, Clean and Fair’.

The collaboration between Slow Food and the Berlinale began last year at the festival’s Talent Campus (which hosts 500 promising young filmakers from all over the world). On that occasion the Campus was dedicated to ‘Food, Hunger and Taste’ and during a busy week, Carlo Petrini, activist Vandana Shiva and Alice Waters, chef at the famed Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, California, and vice-president of Slow Food International talked at a series of meetings and debates on themes dear to Slow Food such as quality food production, local and traditional, sustainability and fair payment for producers.

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