Canadian Foodie Film Takes the Cake
Ron Mann, the award-winning director of Comic Book Confidential, Grass, and Go Further, has just won the Best Feature award at the New York City Food Film Festival. His film, Know Your Mushrooms, investigates the sometimes strange and near-secret world of fungi.
Mushrooms – we put them on our pizza and steaks and in our soups and salads: we marvel at their variety and are sometimes repelled by their grotesque beauty when encountering them in the bush. And yes, some have even sampled their more exotic possibilities and asked the question: “Do mushrooms come from a far away planet?” Still others have asked, “Can mushrooms save the planet?” The world of fungi and their integral relationship with the health of the planet have only recently been appreciated. The oldest and largest living organisms recorded on Earth are both fungi. And their use by a new, maverick breed of scientists and thinkers has proven vital in the cleansing of sites despoiled by toxins and as a “clean” pesticide among many other environmentally-friendly applications.
Mann set off to the annual Telluride Mushroom Festival in Colorado where he encountered the unique sub-sub-subculture surrounding fungi that includes an unlikely assortment of nerds, nuts, hipsters, tripsters, artists, chefs, musicians, foodies, foragers, and seekers all paying homage to the mighty mushroom.
The director combines material filmed at the Mushroom Fest with animation and archival footage along with an original soundtrack by the Flaming Lips. The film opens the doors to perception, takes the audience on a longer, stranger trip and delivers them to a brave new world where the fungi might well guide humanity to a saner, safer place … with extra cheese.
The 3rd annual New York City Food Film Festival gives film buffs a chance to watch a foodie film then sample the food portrayed in those films.