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Sonoma feeds its cinema appetite at film festival


This year’s Sonoma International Film Festival offers more films featuring food and wine than any in recent memory. Maybe next year we can have a venue dedicated to food, wine and other beverage films.

Be sure to double check times on the film festival website, sonomafilmfest.org. This listing is approximately by time and day.

First wine film on the schedule is “Sour Grapes” in which a young wine fan earns the reputation of a wine savant and attracts some of world’s fiercest wine connoisseurs to his circle. When suspicious bottles are discovered, an investigation finds one of the most ingenious cons of our time. Preceded by “Somm State of Mind.” Thursday 11:15 a.m. at the House of Docs (Veterans Building) and Friday at 9:15 a.m. at Vintage House.

“The Turkish Way” tells of three brothers’ experiences in their adventurous trip across Turkey, and their learning about one of the most interesting ancient cuisines of the world. Thursday, 11:45 a.m. at Celebrity Cruises Mobile Cinema and Friday at 9:15 a.m. at the House of Docs (Veterans Building). Preceded by “Food City: Feast of Five Boroughs,” in which chefs try to prepare a four-course meal with foods grown or fished within New York City.

Next is “A Year in Port” documentary directed by David Kennard of Marin County who previously directed “A Year in Burgundy” and “A Year in Champagne.” This film features four award-winning winemakers. Thursday, 8:15 p.m. House of Docs, and Saturday 5:30 p.m. in the Mobile Cinema.

“Tuna, Farofa and Spaghetti” tells the story of three Brazilian chefs who travel back to their culinary roots in France, Italy and Japan. Lots of flavors and gastronomic stories on the road full of food and travel. Friday at 2:30 p.m. at the Sonoma Community Center and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at Sonoma Valley Museum of Art.

“James Beard: America’s First Foodie” showing at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art and 3 p.m. Saturday at Vintage House. Alice Waters, Judith Jones, Larry Forgioni, Clark Wolf, and many others tell their fascinating stories about James Beard. Beard’s favorite onion sandwiches and wine served at both screenings, which are preceded by “Caviar Dreams” and tastes of California caviar.

“The Chocolate Case” examines the use of slavery in the cocoa industry. Dutch journalists create their own slave-free chocolate bar. Friday at 5:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at the Veterans Building.

“Goddesses of Food” shows how women affect the world through gastronomy, introducing chefs, sommeliers, and activists who change up the food world game. Delectables from the Fig restaurants and food truck will be available at both screenings. Made in France and shown Friday and Sunday at noon at the Mobile Cinema.

“Courses” tells the story of Chef Jake Bickelhaupt and his wife who open their restaurant 42 Grams, a celebrated two-star restaurant in Chicago, and tells the true story of the ups and downs they share in their first year in business. Saturday at 9 a.m. at Vintage House and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Sonoma Community Center.

The festival wraps up with its closing film, “Cook Up a Storm,” an intense international culinary competition between two rival cooks, one famous for his Cantonese street food and the other as a French trained Michelin-starred chef. The rivals discover a common foe and combine their emotions and culinary skills, fusing East and West and uniting against a common enemy. Sunday, 6 p.m. at the Sebastiani Theatre.