From the YIDFF Office

2012-11-14 | Report on Reviving Recipes Screening in Turin, Italy

The quest to find the future possibilities of farming, food and community by capturing the situation around Yamagata’s indigenous crops and the people who have worked so hard to preserve them; that is the subject of Reviving Recipes, a documentary made in Yamagata. Fortunately, the film was completed in 2011 with warm support from many people. With the premiere screening at the YIDFF 2011 as its beginning, screenings have been constantly held in and outside of Yamagata, and even went on screening at Hong Kong International Film Festival and Hawaii International Film Festival. In addition, through the recommendation of Slow Food Yamagata and Slow Food Japan, Reviving Recipes was invited to be screened at Salone del Gusto, one of the world’s largest food and wine fairs. Director Watanabe Satoshi and I flew to Turin, Italy, along with those involved with Slow Food associations on October 25th.

The Slow Food movement, which has now broad networks throughout the world, started in Italy by those concerned with food globalization and fast-food culture developed in this society of mass consumption and mass distribution. At this yearly food fair, shops from all over the world open, becoming the place where one can directly realize the diversity and current state of food culture by eating the foods sold there. During the week when the fair is open, a number of symposiums are held and a total of about 180,000 people in average come out to visit.

In the afternoon of October 29th, Reviving Recipes was screened at one small corner of the huge venue. Surrounded by many booths from all over the world, we worried that the viewers, about 50 people, might not be able to focus on the film in the boisterous atmosphere, but most of the viewers stayed around after the screening for joining an energetic Q&A session. The chairperson of Slow Food Foundation also joined us for the Q&A. Referring to the present situation of food globalization, he stated that he could find a bright hope in the farmers’ positive attitude to inherit the seeds and the development of a new liberal community supporting them.

During our short four-day stay in Italy, we were able to get acquainted with scholars working in Japanese Cultural Studies from some universities in Milan and Bologna. Chances for more screenings of Reviving Recipes in Italy seem feasible in cooperation with those scholars. We’ve also got information that a student documentary film festival has been held at the University of Milan every year. One of the participants from UM even asked us if we could collaborate with them in organizing a function where Japanese and Italian student filmmakers could interact with each other and share their works.

This trip proved fruitful indeed, and showed that a film itself also worked as a “seed.”

Takahashi Takuya (Yamagata Office Director)