Is NYC Food Film Festival for real?

posted in: Ruminations | 8

For a city congested with new film festivals that crop up each summer, this one actually sounded like a novelty: The first-ever New York City Food Film Festival takes off this June, screening independent features and shorts by filmmakers from all over the country. The event seems to be the brainchild of Schnack co-conspirator Harry Hawk and George Motz, a director who’s screening his documentary, Hamburger America, in the festival.

If I’m understanding correctly, the festival takes place over three weekends, offering a virtual three-course meal in theme: Part 1 is Hamburgers and Asparagus; Part 2, Hot Dogs and Sausages; and Part 3, Barbecue. Films being screened include fun food docs like American Beer, Asparagus (the Stalkumentary), Living on the Wedge: Wisconsin’s Artisan Cheesemakers, and Best of the Wurst, a doc about Berlin’s currywurst that’s directed, interestingly enough, by Grace Lee of The Grace Lee Project.

But there’s one catch: while the film screenings are supposedly free, you have to “buy tickets” by ordering your food online first. Doesn’t look like there’s an option for people who don’t eat out. I’ve never been out to Water Taxi Beach, where the festival will be held and Schnack’s official summer luau. But it does seem as if it operates very much like a restaurant since you can’t bring in outside food or drink and you have to pay a small fee to get in at night.

Okay… so no movies if you don’t want to eat Schnackburgers? That doesn’t seem to make any sense. Well, I wasn’t sure how I felt about hamburgers with asparagus anyway.

8 Responses

  1. Yvo

    Well, if you want to go, I’ll eat your portion 😛 I am in love with BBQ, as much of America seems to be actually. Haha but seriously, surely you can make an exception to attend something as ground-breaking as this?

    PS I’ve never been to Water Taxi Beach either… but I think I’ve heard good things.

  2. Meredith

    Maybe you can make an exception, as you can justify that you’re paying for the films, not for the food. This sounds too cool to pass up (count me in!).

  3. cathy

    Thanks for pointing out that I probably sound like a big pain-in-the-butt sourpants poorsport about this. (Grumble grumble.) I guess I should just go!

  4. Harry Hawk


    Harry here..

    #1 there are NO door charges during the Festival

    #2 no one has to buy any food *but yes* you can’t bring your own either.

    #3 We are selling the food online and in advance so we know exactly how much to make.

    #4 I think you will find that most of the tickets are fairly reasonable in price.

  5. Water Taxi Beach is so fun, but then again I’m a fan of anyplace you don’t have to wear shoes.
    Also – so jealous of your foraging experience with the Wildman! I had plans to go the other week but they got cancelled due to rain 🙁

  6. cathy

    Thanks so much for all the clarifications, Harry. I appreciate it and hope that everyone refers to the festival website for more updates and info:

  7. anonymous

    The food tickets did look reasonably priced, and I was thinking of going to this festival.

    But when I got to the food ticket online checkout, there was a $7.50 processing charge and a $1.25 delivery charge to order the food online. That nearly DOUBLED the price of the food. And the $1.25 delivery charge was especially strange, because, um, I’m going to print them on my printer. There is no delivery.

    I would not have had a problem paying a cover charge in advance. But I don’t like being suddenly hit with charges I didn’t expect, and it makes me concerned that when I go to this event, there will be a number of things that cost money that I expected to be free.

    So, I’m leaning towards not going. Which is too bad, because it really sounded like fun.

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