Q&A: Flatirons Food Film Festival Director Julia Joun Dishes on This Year’s Events

Courtesy Flatirons Food Film Festival

Courtesy Flatirons Food Film Festival

Fond of fab food? Love a great flick? The fifth annual Flatirons Food Film Festival is serving up both with five full days of movies, tastings and guest speakers. Highlights of this year’s events, taking place Sept. 27-Oct. 1 in downtown Boulder, include guest speaker and celebrity chef Jeremiah Tower, a free family program and “Ratatouille” showing and “A Summer in Colorado,” by The Perennial Plate, a documentary series

We caught up with festival director Julia Joun for the inside scoop on this year’s fest.

What’s new about the festival this year and how has it changed over the years?

“It’s a huge change from the beginning to now. We weren’t an independent organization when we started, but we are now. We’re a 501(c3) nonprofit, so we’re in charge of our own destiny, which is wonderful. Really, the festival is vastly bigger than it was when it started. Last year we added children’s events, so that’s different. We’re always changing; we’re always trying to make a better festival.”

Which speakers or guests are you most excited about?

“I think everybody is really excited about Jeremiah Tower because he’s really one of those pioneering chefs. … Corie Brown is a journalist who has her fingers in a lot of pies. She’s helping put together the Chefs Collaborative Summit this year, which is a national gathering of chefs. I think she should have interesting things to say. We also have really great local people like Frank Bonnano; he’s got all these great restaurants in Denver and a TV show on PBS. Also, the founder of Scratch Labs which … has to do with nutrition and food, but it’s not what people generally think of when they think of a food film festival.”

What types of films can attendees expect?

“I always see myself as capturing a wider view of food culture. Food culture is everything from agriculture to the politics of food. … Part of the reason why it’s such a diverse schedule is because food has to do with so many things; it has to do with virtually everything as far as I can see. We are always looking for schedules that reflect that diversity in the food world.”

Why are food films important?

“Film is one of the most potent mediums that we have, right? People love movies for a good reason—they’re  really, really immediate and suck you in and really move you. You can learn from then. The medium of film also is perfect for food. I mean just think about how beautiful food is on film and just how vivid the whole thing is. Our mission statement is to ‘educate and entertain’ and that’s important to us. Essentially, it’s who we are. We’re going educate people about food and we’re going to entertain them as well.”

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