Film Feast 2019: Everything you need to know about Suffolk’s cool new movie and food event

Harrison Ford tucks into some oriental street food in the classic sci-fi drama Blade Runner which cl

Harrison Ford tucks into some oriental street food in the classic sci-fi drama Blade Runner which closes this year's Film Feast festival Photo: Warner Bros

Cinema inspired suppers, delicious foodie freebies and classic films form part of this year’s expanded event, with screenings across the county.

Tony Shalhoub and Minnie Driver discussing the VIP dinner in the American indie hit Big Night. Photo

Tony Shalhoub and Minnie Driver discussing the VIP dinner in the American indie hit Big Night. Photo: Rysher Entertainment - Credit: Archant

If you are what you eat, then it stands to reason then a film lover is the product of the movies they watch. If this is true then the expanded Film Feast festival will be providing a cinematic banquet which will nourish the body as well as feeding the brain and the soul.

Now, in its second year, Film Feast was launched at the Riverside Cinema in Woodbridge and combines classic food-related film screenings with a related meal or associated culinary event. Last year's debut was such a success that the event has now been expanded to cover 12 venues across Suffolk during the first weekend in October. There will also be two 'taster' one day events in Norfolk and Essex with a view to expanding festival there next year.

The festival has been put together by Neil McGlone, manager of the Woodbridge Riverside Cinema, inspired by his time working at the film festival, Il Cinema Ritrovato, in Bologna, which is been called the food capital of the world. Film Feast also has the support of independent British film-maker Mike Leigh, who is the festival's patron, and provided a rare cinema-screening of his TV film Nuts in May to launch this year's festival.

Neil says the combination of food and film is a marriage made in heaven and he is thrilled that the cinema-going public agree and have been enthusiastic enough for him to expand this year's offering to offer a menu of tasty treats which reaches every corner of Suffolk.

He is particularly pleased that its not just cinemas taking part but also restaurants, libraries, schools and art centres - anywhere they can serve a meal and screen a film.

He says that both film and fine dining are communal experiences which bring people together for enjoyment and lively pre/post-screening conversation.

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This year the Riverside will remain the focus for the festival but will include screenings at Jimmy's Farm, Wherstead; the Ipswich Film Theatre; Stowmarket Regal; Southwold Cinema; Abbeygate Cinema, Bury St Edmunds; Halesworth Cut; The Galley, Woodbridge; Honey+Harvey, Melton; Ipswich Library; Woodbridge Library and Kesgrave High School.

Neil said: "The success of last year was a lovely surprise. We did it without being too sure how it would be received but we had very good attendance and then I started getting emails from other places inquiring if they could be involved if we ever did it again and it got me thinking perhaps we could do something on a much larger scale.

Juliette Binoche tempts Judi Dench with her sinfully delicious chocolate treats in Chocolat. Photo M

Juliette Binoche tempts Judi Dench with her sinfully delicious chocolate treats in Chocolat. Photo Miramax - Credit: Archant

"So late last year I started to approach a wide range of venues and we had 23 different places all over the county express interest, although, in the end, only 12 could do the dates of the festival weekend. I love the fact that we have a mix of different types of venue because it gives the festival that community spirit.

"Community is very important because watching a movie on the big screen and sharing meal are both very social occasions and that's what we want Film Feast to be. It's fun and something to be shared with family and friends."

Neil is also pioneering a one day vegan Film Feast event in London. "It'll be interesting to see what response it gets and we'll see how it develops. We just want it to be fun and a way of celebrating that close link between food and film."

The other important part of the Film Feast ethos is that there is a wide variety of films aimed at a broad audience. "We try to make sure that we always include something for everybody. It's important that there's a children's film, that's there's a food for though panel discussion, we will show a documentary on a serious subject - we did food waste last year; this year its single use plastic - and then we will have a fun event in the evening and this year we are having a late night horror screening and we have some classics back on the big screen."

Film-maker Mike Leigh with Neil McGlone outside the Riverside Cinema in Woodbridge at the Film Feast

Film-maker Mike Leigh with Neil McGlone outside the Riverside Cinema in Woodbridge at the Film Feast launch Photo: Mike Chen - Credit: Archant

He says the other strong community link is that cinemas, restaurants and food suppliers are all local, that the festival is made by and for the people of Suffolk.

Film Feast 2019 runs from Friday October 4-7.


Friday Oct 4:

The Cut, Halesworth: 6pm:


Director Stanley Tucci & Campbell Scott - 1996 - 109mins

Starring: Stanley Tucci, Tony Shaloub, Isabella Rossellini, Ian Holm, Minnie Driver

Two brothers run an Italian restaurant in New Jersey, in the1950s. Business is not going well as a rival Italian restaurant is out-competing them. In a final effort to save the restaurant, the brothers plan to put on an evening of incredible food.

The Galley, Woodbridge: 6pm

A TOUCH OF SPICE (PG) with English subtitles

Director Tassos Boulmetis - 2003 - 108mins

Starring: Georges Corraface, Ieroklis Michaelidis, Renia Louizidou

This is a story about a young Greek boy growing up in Istanbul, whose grandfather, a culinary philosopher and mentor,teaches him that both food and life require a little salt to give them flavour; they both require... A Touch of Spice.

Jimmy's Farm - Opening Night Gala; 7pm


Director Robert Zemeckis - 1985 - 116mins

Starring: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Crispin Glover, Lea Thompson

Introduced by film critic, James King

Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent 30 years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown. He meets his parents as teenagers in the neighbourhood diner.

Honey and Harvey, Melton

CHEF (15)

Director Jon Favreau - 2014 - 114mins

Starring: Jon Favreau, Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman, John Leguizamo, Robert Downey Jr.

A head chef quits his restaurant job and buys a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family.

Saturday October 5

The Riverside, Woodbridge - Kid's Feast; 10.30am


Director Phil Lord & Christopher Miller - 2009 - 81mins

Voices of: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Neil Patrick Harris

A classic piece of modern animation. A local scientist is often regarded as a failure until he invents a machine that can make food fall from the sky. But little does he know, that things are about to take a turn for the worst.

The Riverside, Woodbridge - Food for Thought; 2pm


Director Tom-Watt Smith - 2018 - 90mins

Introduced by the film's writer/director, Tom Watt-Smith

Trillions of pieces of plastic are choking the very lifeblood of the Earth and every marine animal, from the smallest plankton to the largest mammals, is being affected. Wildlife biologist Liz Bonnin visits scientists working at the cutting-edge of plastics research and discovers the true dangers of plastic in the oceans and what it means for the future of all life on the planet, including humans.

Stowmarket Regal Cinemas; 2.30pm


Director Danny DeVito - 1996 - 98mins

Starring: Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Mari Wilson, Pam Ferris

The classic Roald Dahl story brought to the big screen. Matilda a wonderful little girl, who happens to be a genius, and we follow her and her wonderful teacher into battle against the worst parents ever and the worst school principal imaginable.

Ipswich Library; 2.30pm


Director Mel Stuart - 1971 - 100mins

Starring: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum, Roy Kinnear

Another Roald Dahl classic with Gene Wilder in the title role as the eponymous chocolate maker. The story is told through the eyes of a poor but intelligent boy who wins one of five coveted golden tickets that will send him on a tour of Willy Wonka's mysterious chocolate factory.

The Riverside, Woodbridge - Gala Event; 5pm


Director Peter Greenaway - 1989 - 119mins

Starring: Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren, Tim Roth, Richard Bohringer

30th Anniversary Screening introduced by The League of Gentlemen actor/writer, Mark Gatiss (schedules permitting)

The wife of an abusive criminal finds solace in the arms of a kind regular guest in her husband's restaurant. Then everyone is invited to a special dinner...

Ipswich Library; 6pm


Director John Crowley - 2015 - 112mins

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Domnhall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters

An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a romance with a local. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the different lives she could lead.

Southwold Cinema; 7pm


Director Malcolm Mowbray - 1984 - 94mins

Starring: Michael Palin, Maggie Smith, Denholm Elliott, Liz Smith, Richard Griffiths

Michael Palin's first Post-Python hit. In post-war Britain, food rationing continues, leading a married couple to become involved in the flourishing bacon black market.

Ipswich Film Theatre; 7.30pm


Director Alexander Payne - 2004 - 127mins

Starring: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen, Sandra Oh

There will be a free wine-tasting in the foyer before the screening and the film features an exclusive Film Feast video introduction from the film's writer/director, Alexander Payne.

Two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment embark on a week-long road trip through California's wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle.

The Riverside, Woodbridge; 8pm


Director Lasse Hallström - 2000 - 121mins

Starring: Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Alfred Molina, Johnny Depp

A woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French village that shakes up the rigid morality of the community. Watch spellbound as Judi Dench locks horns with Alfred Molina as the uptight town mayor having been liberated by Juliette Binoche's decadent chocolates.

The Riverside, Woodbridge - Midnight Feast; Midnight


Director Sam Raimi - 1981 - 85mins

Starring: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Hal Delrich

Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons. A horror classic.

Sunday October 6

The Riverside, Woodbridge - Coffee Morning


Director Brandon Loper - 2014 - 67mins

Introduced by the CEO of The Fairtrade Foundation, Michael Gidney

This is a love letter to, and meditation on, specialty coffee. The film whisks audiences on a trip around the world, from farms in Honduras and Rwanda to coffee shops in Tokyo, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and New York. Through the eyes and experiences of farmers and baristas, the film offers a unique overview of all the elements; the processes, preferences and preparations; traditions old and new that come together to create the best cups.

The Riverside - Gala Event; 5pm


Director Ritesh Batra - 2013 - 105mins

Starring: Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur, Nawazuddin Siddiqui

Guest Chef - Deepti Bulsara - hailing from London but now Suffolk-based, will be serving a delicious array of dishes inspired by the film.

A mistaken delivery in Mumbai's famously efficient lunchbox delivery system connects a young housewife to an older man in the dusk of his life as they build a fantasy world together through notes in the lunchbox.

Abbeygate Cinema, Bury St Edmunds; 5pm


Director Lasse Hallström - 2014 - 122mins

Starring: Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon

The Kadam family leaves India for France where they open a restaurant directly across the road from Madame Mallory's Michelin-starred eatery.

Ipswich Film Theatre; 7.30pm


Director Alexander Mackendrick - 1949 - 82mins

Starring: Basil Radford, Bruce Seton, Joan Greenwood, Gordon Jackson

There will be a free whisky tasting in the foyer before the screening

Based on a true story, the SS Politician sunk on February 5 1941 on the rocks of the Outer Hebrides. Having left Liverpool two days earlier, heading for Jamaica, it sank outside Eriskay, with 250,000 bottles of whisky on board. The film chronicles the attempts by Scottish islanders try to plunder the cargo from the stranded ship before the authorities arrive.

Woodbridge Library; 7.30pm


Director Rob Reiner - 1989 - 96mins

Starring: Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal, Carrie Fisher, Bruno Kirby

Harry and Sally meet when she gives him a ride to New York after they both graduate from university. The film jumps through their lives as they both search for love, but fail, bumping into each other time and again. Finally a close friendship blooms between them, and they both like having a friend of the opposite sex. But then they are confronted with the problem: "Can a man and a woman be friends, without sex getting in the way?"

Monday October 7

Kesgrave High School; 7pm


Director Ridley Scott - 1982 - 117mins

Starring: Harrison Ford, Sean Young, Rutger Hauer, Edward James Olmos

In the near future, a corporation develops human clones to be used as slaves in colonies outside the Earth, identified as replicants. A former police officer is hired to hunt down a fugitive group of clones living undercover in Los Angeles but the task is not as straight forward as he supposes. A visual treat as well as being a wonderfully apt piece of science fiction storytelling.

Vernon Blackmore will be on hand with his pop-up Noodle Bar serving food inspired by the film to serve you all in the school after the screening.

As this is the closing night film, audiences are encouraged to come along dressed as your favourite character from the film, a prize will be awarded to the best-dressed person.