CAAMFest 2015: This Year's Festival is Full of Food Films

CAAMFest, the largest film festival of its kind in North America featuring Asian and Asian American film, food and music, comes back to San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley March 12-22.

Off the Menu: Asian America
Off the Menu: Asian America

This year’s festival is full of food films. Four documentary food programs will make their world premiere right here in the Bay Area. From award-winning director Grace Lee’s latest documentary Off the Menu: Asian America, a Center for Asian American Media and KQED co-production, to our closing night 6-part series Lucky Chow, there’s enough for your eyes and bellies to feast on.

Here’s a taste of what food and film adventures you can look forward to at CAAMFeast 2015:

Off the Menu: Asian America

CAAM is excited to welcome back CAAMFest favorite Grace Lee with Off the Menu: Asian America, a CAAM and KQED co-production. From the Gulf Coast of Texas to the heartland of Wisconsin to New York’s Lower East Side and beyond, Off the Menu: Asian America delves into a wealth of stories, traditions, and unexpected characters that explore what it means to be Asian American today. A robust complimentary food site launched this week, with stories from the film and beyond, including essays, recipes, videos and more. —CAAMFest

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Off the Menu: Asian America world premieres at CAAMFest on Sunday, March 15 at 2:20pm at the Castro Theatre.

Supper Club

Get ready to eat, drink and be inspired by all things gourmet and culinary! The brand-new series Supper Club follows bad boy “Demon Chef” Alvin Leung — proprietor of the Michelin three-star Bo Innovation restaurant in Hong Kong — as he visits some of the most exciting restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area. More than just a showcase for seriously delectable cuisine, Supper Club explores the importance of ingredients, craft and personal vision across the evolving restaurant industry.

Supper Club
Supper Club

Leung first speaks with RN74 chef Michael Mina about their shared love for transcultural flavors; he then visits Ken Tominaga at his Rohnert Park restaurant, Hana, to pay tribute to Japanese cuisine’s global influence. Next, Leung explores Asian flavors and innovative techniques with Corey Lee at Benu and drops by Adam Mali’s Mandarin Oriental to appreciate the seasonality and simplicity of good ingredients. Amid candid discussions about working in one of the most dynamic food scenes in the country, Leung and the chefs also prepare dishes that contribute to a wider dialogue about food and culinary culture. –Chanel Kong

Supper Club world premieres at CAAMFest on March 19, 2015 at 7:10pm at New People Cinema in San Francisco’s Japantown.

Changing Season: On the Masumoto Family Farm

Changing Season: On the Masumoto Family Farm
Changing Season: On the Masumoto Family Farm

“How many harvests do you have in you?” is the perennial echo that reverberates across the Masumoto Family peach farm. Changing Season chronicles a transitional year-in-the-life of famed farmer, slow food advocate, and sansei, David “Mas” Masumoto, and his compelling relationship with daughter Nikiko, who returns to the family farm with the intention of stepping into her father’s work boots. Mas’ hopes and hesitations for the future are shored up with his daughter’s return, as the family must navigate the implications of Mas’ 60th birthday and triple bypass surgery. The film is interspliced with moments of Nikiko’s razor sharp meditations on her family’s internment during WWII and her role as a queer, progressive farmer in the Central Valley.

Join CAAM for the World Premiere at the Oakland Museum of California, with the Masumotos in conversation. —Sierra Lee

Changing Season: On the Masumoto Family Farm world premieres at CAAMFest on March 20, 2015 at 7pm at the Oakland Museum of California and is preceded by CAAMFest at OMCA’s Off the Grid at 5pm.

Lucky Chow

Lucky Chow
Lucky Chow

Lucky Chow, a six-part PBS series, follows LUCKYRICE culinary festival founder Danielle Chang as she travels across America, exploring the Asian food landscape. Each episode examines a different food theme and features many of the country’s most renowned chefs and culinary stars.

The series begins with the ramen craze that has swept the country and features New Yorker-turned-Japanese ramen chef Ivan Orkin, of the acclaimed Sun Noodles, and ends with Berkeley, CA-based Ramen Shop.

In another episode, the two titans of Northern Thai cuisine, Andy Ricker of Pok Pok Thai and Saipin Chutima of the much loved Lotus of Siam, join forces to create their collective version of northern laab, a spicy, tasty drinking delicacy in Chiang Mai. Through the lens of Asian food and drink, LUCKY CHOW explores how Asian culture has impacted our understanding of food and food culture.

As CAAMFest’s Closing Night feature, Lucky Chow’s six episodes will premiere over the course of two days and feature an Asian-inspired curated menu from The New Parkway kitchen. —Ashlyn Perri

Lucky Chow (episodes 1-3) plays at CAAMFest on March 21, 2015 at 7pm at the New Parkway Theater. Lucky Chow (episodes 4-6) plays at CAAMFest on March 22, 2015 at 7pm at the New Parkway Theater.

CAAMFest special Asian-inspired menu at The New Parkway:

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For tickets, please visit caamfest.com

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Note: film descriptions crossposted from the CAAMFest website.

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