Culinary Cinema Program Announced for Miami Film Festival

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It's officially tourists season here in Miami. With that comes big tips for the city's hard-working service industry, high temperatures, and an influx of New Yorkers -- particularly those fleeing that big storm. There are also premier events like the South Beach Wine & Food Festival and Miami Dade College's Miami International Film Festival (MIFF).

For the third year in a row, the film festival will host Culinary Cinema, which marries the best parts of these two premiere events. Jaie Laplante, Executive Director of MIFF has teamed up with Lee Brian Schrager, creator of the SoBeWFF, to develop restaurant pairings for five of the festival's films.

"Film is a passion of mine and I really enjoyed collaborating with Jaie on this year's program," noted Schrager. "The 2015 line-up really showcases, on a global level that wine and food experiences bring out great personal stories that everyone can connect with."

Festival attendees will be able to go online and purchase pairing packages to each of the films selected. The package includes a movie ticket, a three-course-meal, and wine provided by Frederick Wildman and Sons.

The idea, says Laplante, is to enhance the experience of the film and dine with like-minded cinephiles in some of the city's best eateries. Following the film, guests can meander over to the paired restaurant, where they will be seated right away, except for in the case of the Juvia and City of Gold pairing, where the meal is enjoyed prior to the screening.

"When I'm not watching movies, my next favorite thing to do is talk about movies," said Laplante. "Culinary Cinema allows festival goers to watch, dine and discuss films from around the world together."

Saturday, March 7

City of Gold (USA) paired With lunch at Juvia Miami Beach

City of Gold follows Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold's free-ranging taste tour of Los Angeles, one of America's great food cities. Screening at Regal South Beach.

Monday, March 9

Finding Gastón (Peru) paired with dinner at La Mar by Gastón Acurio

Finding Gastón follows Peruvian chef and restaurateur Gastón Acurio's championing of his national cuisine to international success.Screening at MDC's Tower Theater.

Tuesday, March 10

East Side Sushi (USA) paired with dinner at SushiSamba Coral Gables

East Side Sushi follows Juana, a struggling, working class, single mother who secretly teaches herself the art of sushi making, against all odds, determined to fulfill her dream despite her Latina roots and gender. Screening at Coral Gables Art Cinema.

Wednesday, March 11

Natural Resistance (Italy/France) paired with dinner at Quattro Gastronomia Italiana

Four artisanal winemakers in Tuscany strive to produce their wines in the most traditional way possible, resisting both government and market pressure to take shortcuts. The film is like a love letter to Italy. Screening at Regal South Beach.

Thursday, March 12

Rewined (Italy) paired with dinner at Macchialina Taverna Rustica

A thirst for the genius of Italian winemakers transforms a shy bank clerk into a powerful wine writer, lothario, and possibly murderer. Screening at Regal South Beach.

Prices for the packages will range from $60 for Miami Film Society members up to $75 for non-members. Tickets go on sale February 13.

Follow Jen Mangham on Twitter @JenMangham and on Instagram @JenM305.

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