Guest post: Helen Graham offers a taste of Kingussie's Food on Film

Jonathan Melville 12 January, 2012 0

Young filmmakers at Kingussie Food on Film Festival

Young filmmakers at Kingussie Food on Film Festival

This coming Saturday in Kingussie we’ll be celebrating the launch our fifth Food on Film festival programme with an enormous cake when we open our Box Office in the High Street (hosted by a bookshop).

With three weeks to go, people in the local community are already looking forward to finding out about another great line up of foodie films with wonderful things to eat and drink at every screening – as well as an ever expanding Food Hall with celebrity chefs. Both the High School and Primary School will be running events, as well as the Art Gallery, two hotels and a newly established Film Society.

Five years ago it was a different story. There were three of us with an idea for a festival – a head teacher, a French chef and a local filmmaker. We wanted to create an event that that would celebrate and explore the world of food with feature films, shorts and documentaries, as well as lots of food and drink. It was to be a festival that would involve the community, especially young people, and inspire people about films, filmmaking, local food and cooking.

We were delighted that film director Don Coutts from Cromarty came to talk to us about his film American Cousins, and thrilled to have Richard Else of Triple Echo Productions and Katrina McPherson of Goat Media on our judges panel for the short films. We also had not one but two celebrity chefs and a live band!

If we hadn’t been engulfed by an enormous snow storm that blocked the A9 in both directions and stopped most of the trains, we might have had more people attending our first Food on Film – but then again maybe it was just that people didn’t really know what the festival was all about.

Today, all of that has changed and we are delighted with how much the local community has taken Food on Film to its heart. One of the best outcomes is the growing band of young people who have had short films screened and have received constructive criticism from a film industry panel of judges that has inspired them to continue developing their skills. There is also a growing number of people making their way to Kingussie in early February each year from across Scotland to attend the festival.

Food on Film 2012 will be featuring two Scottish premieres. One is the film of Nigel Slater’s life called Toast, starring Ken Stott and Helena Bonham Carter. Billed as “the ultimate nostalgia trip through everything edible in 1960’s Britain”, this will be accompanied by a Vintage Tea Party – with tea and cakes, vintage china, bunting and ladies in pinnies – it should be fun!

In complete contrast, the other premiere is Cooking With Stella filmed in Delhi by a Canadian film company. This is a warm hearted social satire about a Canadian diplomat and her chef husband, Michael, who are posted to New Delhi.

Curry will be served by ladies in saris who will also be doing a bit of Bollywood dancing, and there will be Bollywood/Badenoch icecream served in the interval by a local chef who has created flavours like “WhiskyChai” especially for the occasion.

The Kingussie Food on Film Fesival runs from Thursday 2 – Sunday 5 February, visit the website for full details. Tickets can be booked through the Box Office from Saturday 14 January. The Festival can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Related links

Scottish Film Festivals Calendar