The Date and Time: Monday, September 8, 8PM to 10PM
The Event: Devour! Filmfest program launch at the Drake.
The Venue: The Drake 86'd
The Target Audience: regular 86'd consumer crowd, Toronto wine, film and food media.
The Availability/Catalogue: see www.devourfest.com
The Quote/Background: Devour! The food film fest runs November 12 – 14 in Wolfville, NS. The organizers were in town to take advantage of TIFF and squeeze in a launch with a promotion for food, wine and film writers to announce the program of Devour, now in its fourth year. Michael Howell, Devour! Executive Director (former chef-owner of Tempest, an award-winning restaurant in Wolfville) said Devour was the world's largest festival focused on food and film. There will be 55 films dedicated to food (18 new features and 37 shorts) including the world premiere of the Canadian film Shuckers, directed by Jon Bietcher and produced by Chef Chuck Hughes, as well as Food Chains by Sanjay Rawal and El Somni, and "an operatic multimedia feast" from Spanish director Franc Aleu. There will be 15 hands-on sessions and five dinners inspired by feature films. There will also be two days of food trucks (I cannot wait for those fried clams).
The opening Gala features Anthony Bourdain, and 16 local chefs creating a Nova Scotia dinner. There is also a dedication to the Order of Good Cheer with a reception and a procession. Bourdain will introduce the opening festival screening of Eat Drink Man Woman, participate in an audience Q&A and host a one-hour book signing at the Devour! Opening Gala Post-Reception.
This year also marks the beginning of a relationship with the Berlin Film Festival, which ultimately means that the Devour! Food Film Fest will be at a world class status and will feature more premieres of feature food films. The full program and tickets for the festival's screenings and events happening November 12-16, will be available on Monday, September 22 through the Devour! website (www.devourfest.com} and Ticketpro. Tickets will also be available by phone at 1-888-311-9090.
The Food: at the launch, the Drake kitchen provided NS lobsters via nachos, NS apples (juicy SweeTango apples, part honeycrisp, part zester) via strudel, and NS oysters on the half shell, along with Dragon's Breath Blue cheese (unobtainable in Ontario) appetizers. Nova 7, a Nova Scotia version of moscato d'asti, was poured as the alcoholic beverage representing Nova Scotia, garnished with an NS apple slice.
The Downside: I had been expecting commingling with media and consumers, but the media area was later roped off for privacy and note-taking.
The Upside: Jason Priestly, on the Devour Board, turned up, as did cookbook and food personality Bob Blumer, both touting the wonders of the film fest and the food from local chefs. The event was extremely well-orchestrated.
The Contact Person: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 93.