This year’s Italian Film Festival at the College of Charleston acknowledges Italy’s role as the culinary center of the world. Five movies, all of which explore different aspects of food, will be screened, including three Southeastern premieres.

Organizer Giovanna De Luca has partnered with Slow Food Charleston to create a multi-dimensional event. The opening night reception will feature food from Monza, Al di La, FIG, EVO, Wild Olive, and Trattoria Lucca from 5:30-6:30 p.m. followed by a screening of Foccaccia Blues, a documentary by Nico Cirasola, who will be on hand for a Q&A directly after the movie.

On the closing night, they will screen Terra Madre, a movie produced by Slow Food that explores the world of agriculture and sustainability. Afterwards, there will be a panel discussion with Ben and Kristen DuBard of Five Leaves Farm and CSA of Blythewood, S.C. The two were delegates to the Terra Madre conference, produced by Slow Food International in Torino, Italy, in Oct. 2008 and will share their experiences. Daniele Giovannucci, the co-founder of the Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA), will also be on hand to discuss sustainability and the actual impact of many ecological and social standards such as organics and fair trade.


• Focaccia Blues (2009)

  Thurs. Nov. 5 at 7 p.m.

Followed by a Q&A session with movie director Nico Cirasola.

Nico Cirasola’s movie tells the story of two bakers from Altamura who put the local McDonald’s out of business by enticing its customers away with the local version of fast food: delicious focaccia-wrapped goodies like meats and cheeses.

• La Grande Bouffe (La Grande Abbuffata) (1973)

  Fri. Nov. 6 at 4:30 p.m.

Four well-to-do friends gather at a charming villa for a feast and debauchery — with the proclaimed purpose of eating themselves to death. Scatological and scandalous.

• Mid-August Lunch (Il Pranzo di Ferragosto) (2008)

  Fri. Nov. 6 at 7 p.m.

Middle-aged Gianni lives in an old house in the center of Rome with his mother, a woman of faded nobility who tyrannizes him and leaves him only enough free time to go to the tavern.

• Lessons in Chocolate (Lezioni Di Cioccolato) (2007)

  Sat. Nov. 7 at 4:30 p.m.

An Italian building contractor must pretend to be a pastry chef to keep from being reported by a construction worker who fell from a scaffold.

• Terra Madre (Mother Earth) (2009)

  Sat. Nov. 7 at 6 p.m.

Screening will be followed by a panel discussion hosted by Slow Food of Charleston.

A look at the world of agriculture and biodiversity, with a focus on the international meeting in 2006 between the food communities organized by Slow Food Petrini and the Salone del Gusto di Torino.

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