This week sees the second Food For Real festival slather its way across the city, with films, talks and (most importantly) tastings. We caught up with organisers, Squash Nutrition, to get a flavour of the week’s proceedings…
SS: Why is Food For Real a festival that matters right now?
Clare Owens: We love it that the Food for Real film festival – the only one of its kind in the UK, is Liverpool-grown. People are willing to try new things and speak their mind – at last years inaugural festival we had an amazing response.
A relationship with the land (and sea), an understanding of seasonality, good ingredients and the knowledge of how to transform them in to something delicious is a basic human need and joy. We’re interested in helping make that happen, more often, in Liverpool and throughout the UK.
Food is brilliant and connects us all. But modern life has us over-fed, under-nourished, and disconnected from it. Food for Real film festival offers a chance to re-think and re-learn what you know about the relationship you, your family and the world has with food. Educational, challenging, celebratory, inventive and really good fun, Food for Real will make you think, smile and taste better.
Why set it up – what were your aims?
Food for Real is run by arts and health organisation Squash Nutrition, based in L8. For 10 years we’ve been making creative food projects with lots of different folks, particularly people who have been marginalised from good food. We love working together to grow produce, cooking and preserving, bee-keeping, sharing recipes and stories, and making meals.
We’re driven by creative social inclusion, increased wellbeing and positive change. We figured film is an accessible medium to share food ideas further so we show food-focussed documentaries, features, shorts, animation and vintage films. Our ambition for the festival is to share local and global food experiences, through viewing and doing, in order to provoke debate, stimulate thought and inspire further food action.
Access for everyone is key so Food for Real is a free festival and we want to keep it that way. All festival venues, be they cinemas, cafes, gardens, community rooms or libraries are accessible – socially and physically and are ultra friendly!
What can we expect this year?
This years festival of over 40 films, conversations and actions is all about food and family…..bring your fambo and friends to:
Thursday 21st – make your own breakfast at Bakchich, watch documentaries about Cambodian, Burkinabe, British and Indian fishers and farmers, visit the L8 Honey Night Market and later see a subversive Czech new wave feature on feasting or a beautiful study of honey-bees.
Friday 22nd – plant an apple tree, cook on an open fire, make sugar-free treats, explore the health and heart of Soulfood, go Dutch with the visiting food film team from Amsterdam plus check the Brazilian feature on prison food and cannibalism
Saturday 23rd – get wild and free with foraging and funghi films followed by a late autumn wild food walk, make seed art with Liverpool Art Prize winner Tabitha Moses, then explore your thoughts on supermarkets with food journalist Joanna Blythman
Sunday 24th – get up early to make a loaf at Homebaked, meet Fantastic Mr Fox and new Toxteth food animations, then get down to Mayur for an afternoon of Bollywood food and film, and finish off with The Real Dirt on Farmer John…..
Throughout the festival the Seed pod mobile streetfood cinema – our beloved vintage electric milk-float, will be at a humming along at a stress-free 15mph and popping up in a street near you!
What do you think of this city’s food offer?
Squash are fans of the unsung growers and back kitchen cooks of the city – we’ve enjoyed our best meals in Liverpool homes…. For ingredients we love Mattas, Bold Street, Liverpool 8 Superstore on Lodge Lane and Claremont Farm shop across the water in Bebington.
When out and about and hungry the festival team head for Bakchich, Bold St, the Maharaja on London Rd, Green Days on Lark Lane, old faves Yuet Ben, Duke St and the Side Door, Hope St. And yes we still miss the Everyman Bistro…..
Food For Real