From Ramen to Dinuguan — Foodie Films at the 2018 HIFF Spring Showcase!

By HIFF | March 27, 2018

Who is a foodie and a film fan? The HIFF Spring Showcase will be screening four films that look at humans and their relationship to food, either as an art form, a way to cope, or even as a choice for conservation. From the look at the history of factory farming in EATING ANIMALS, based on the award winning book, to the return engagement of JIMAMI TOFU, to the journey of a young woman resetting her life in nature with LITTLE FOREST, to a Tokyo chef’s pursuit in creating the perfect ramen broth in RAMEN HEADS, to a documentary that explores American’s next big thing in culinary world, Filipino food in ULAM: MAIN DISH, this extension of the Fall Festival’s EAT.DRINK.FILM. section sill satiate any cinema-goer’s appetite!


America’s desire for cheaper, more convenient food has fueled the demise of traditional agriculture and the birth of factory farming. Based on the book by Jonathan Safran Foer and produced and narrated by Natalie Portman, this unflinching exposé features hidden-camera footage exposing animal abuse and the toxic conditions under which our food is produced. EATING ANIMALS is an eye-opening look at the American food production industry and the devastating costs of our dietary choices..


A Chinese Singaporean chef, formerly working in Tokyo, finds himself in Okinawa begging a disgruntled old chef to teach him traditional Okinawan food. A top Japanese food critic finds herself in Singapore on an eye opening discovery of Southeast Asian cuisine. In reality both are looking for each other after an emotional breakup years ago. Emotionally crippled by their breakup he searches her home-town for her but discovers instead the art of traditional Okinawan food.


Get ready Korean food lovers, the much anticipated Korean remake of the beloved Japanese manga and film is here! A love letter to slow cooking and Korean cuisine, LITTLE FOREST takes us through four seasons of food and harvest with the young Hye-won who has escaped big city live and moved to the countryside to live off of the land. Starring Kim Tae-ri (1987, THE HANDMAIDEN), this adaptation condenses the Japanese two-part version into one delectable and delicious film!


Feast yourself on some ramen. What began as a quick, simple and above all nourishing dish for a hungry population in post-war Japan has now gained something akin to cult status. Devoted fans known as "ramen heads" crisscross the country in search of the ultimate tonkotsu, shio or miso ramen—and they’re willing to wait hours in line for a bowlful of it. Tomita Osamu has been voted Japan’s best ramen chef three years in a row, and this film examines his ingredients and methods in great detail.


In this delicious new documentary, Filipino-American filmmaker Alexandra Cuerdo answers this question — and follows the rise of Filipino food via the award-winning chefs crossing over to the center of the American table. The chefs featured in ULAM: MAIN DISH come from all walks of life — from Michelin-starred line cooks to high school dropouts, successful restaurateurs to first time shop owners. All are highly acclaimed by critics and customers alike, all trailblazers in the Filipino food movement. Through a series of one-on-one interviews, the film delves into their histories, asking about their families, where they’re from, who they are, what made them. We look at their stories, their sacrifices and what it takes to run a successful restaurant in two of the most competitive markets in the world: New York and Los Angeles.

View all the HIFF Spring Showcase Foodie Films

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