The closer we get to the South Beach Wine and Food Festival (SoBeWFF), the more you're bound to hear the name Lee Schrager. And in addition to his tireless work promoting our city's celeb-studded ode to consumption -- he's lending his talents to the 30th anniversary edition of the Miami International Film Festival (MIFF) with a selection of culinary films.
Schrager is personally programming this tasty new addition to MIFF's lineup. The series will include three films, one of which is the North American premiere of Why Did You Leave (Por Que Voce Partiu?), the story of three French chefs on a mission of discovery.
"I'm programming the culinary film series. Jaie (MIFF executive director Jaie Laplante) used to work for me, plus I'm a big movie buff. I have a great relationship with Jaie and it just made natural sent to do it. He asked me and I said yes," Schrager told Short Order's Laine Doss.
"Lee is a huge name in the food world so we put his two passions together to come up with a selection of programs in the festival consisting of three to four films that Lee has personally programmed. It will have an event associated with it, as we do with most programs in the festival," Laplante told us.
The series debuts on March 3 with the North American premiere of Why Did You Leave, a Brazilian film directed by Eric Belhassem.
"It's the story of three French haute cuisine chefs who have relocated to rediscover themselves and their crafts in Brazil," said Laplante.
The lineup also includes Meat Hooked, an American film directed by Suzanne Wasserman and Oma & Bella, a German/American flick directed by Alexa Karolinski.
"They'll be a little of everything. Plus, we're planning a signature event around one of them. It's great to collaborate with Jaie. With him guiding me on films and me guiding him on food -- it's really exciting," Schrager added.
And here we thought we couldn't be any more stoked about MIFF. We were wrong.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.