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Feeling hungry? Alaska Food Film Festival looks to satiate

Ben Anderson

"Food Porn" is definitely a Pinterest-fueled, 21st-century beast, a far cry from the dry cooking shows of just a generation ago. Food in American culture has been hyped up to unprecedented degrees, with a focus on presentation, creativity, and occasionally just trying to cram as much bacon as possible into a single dish.

Coinciding with all this excess is a positive development in the world of food -- the locavore movement, which emphasizes locally-grown and locally-consumed ingredients. It's the sustainability model of food, a conscientious, targeted effort to eat healthier while helping the local environment, both ecologically and economically.

In that vein, the Alaska Center for the Environment, along with Anchorage moviehouse Bear Tooth Theatrepub, will host the third annual Alaska Food Film Festival, featuring six nights of food-focused cinema.

In between movies like "The Vanishing of the Bees," a documentary about the huge implications of diminishing honeybee colonies, and "Beer Wars," which examines the world of corporate versus microbrew beers, audiences will see ways Alaskans can eat more locally.

That's thanks to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium's series "Store Outside Your Door," which features how-to guides on catching or growing your own Alaska fauna and flora. In particular, the series highlights traditional Alaska Native foods that have been around for centuries -- and ways to prepare them.

Nick Moe, sustainable communities coordinator with the Alaska Center for the Environment, said that the goal of the film festival is to put a spotlight on Alaska's issues with food security.

"We would only have a three to five day supply of food if the barges stopped running," Moe said. "Not a lot of people are aware of that."

Moe said that Alaska has a "food economy" -- food purchased in grocery stores, restaurants, or jobs associated with the food industry -- of $2.2 billion, and if even a little bit of that could be turned to local farming, it would make a huge difference in the state.

The film festival isn't all seriousness, though, as evidenced by the final film in the festival lineup: the 1983 goofball comedy "Strange Brew," starring Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas. That film features two beer-swilling, bearclaw-downing hyper-Canadians who can't stop calling everybody hosers.

Alaska Film Food Festival lineup

VANISHING OF THE BEES
Friday, June 1, 5:30 p.m.

JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI
Saturday, June 2, 5:30 p.m.

WHAT'S ON YOUR PLATE
Sunday, June 3, 5:30 p.m.

JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI
Monday, June 4, 5:30 p.m.

EL BULLI: COOKING IN PROGRESS
Monday, June 4, 8:00 p.m.

VANISHING OF THE BEES
Tuesday, June 5, 5:30 p.m.

BEER WARS
Wednesday, June 6, 5:30 p.m.

STRANGE BREW
Wednesday, June 6, 10:15 p.m.

See more at the Alaska Food Film Festival Facebook page, or at the Bear Tooth Theatrepub's movies page.

Contact Ben Anderson ben(at)alaskadispatch.com