The relationship between man and food – the irreplaceable fuel of life – has defined both ages and cultures. The relationship between man and film – in its own way a representation of life – is equally as profound and lasting.
It is no coincidence that during the first public film projection in history, which took place on December 28, 1895, the Lumière brothers included Le dejeuner du bébé on the reel. The film is a reflection of family life, depicting a small child being fed by loving parents.
From that day forward, food scenes have been included in movies of every era and origin. Food can have a decisive role in the resolution of the narration. It can represent two sides of cinema: the faithful representation of reality, as with the father of the little Lumière, or immagination, as in Méliès films of about magic and transformation. Movies have captured the transformation of societal tastes. Movies have created an indissoluble bond between story telling and the dinner table, between what you enjoy with your eyes and with your palate.
Outside the theater, food can also been representational. In centuries past, grand court banquets were constructed like movie sets by chef/scenographers who sought to astonish and amaze illustrious guests. Food and dining became the focal point of diplomacy for many centuries. Even today, a good lunch is based on timing, emotion and symbolism – all important cinematic qualities.
Film, like food, can feed one’s fantasy and emotions. Don’t forget that preparing a meal, just like making a film, is an act of love and passion. It is not possible to cook without passion for what one is doing and whom one is serving.
A tavola non si invecchia is an Italian saying that means at the table no one grows old. The saying represents a generation of Italians that experienced real hunger. Cinema also never grows old, thanks to its incredible ability to open people’s eye of worlds of possibility and even the most brutal realities.
For this reason, Academia Barilla has decided to create a film award dedicated to short films about food. The award is entitled Storie di Cucina, or “Food Stories.”
Spreading Italian gastronomic culture throughout the world is a primary goal of Academia Barilla and can be easily achieved through film.
First presented in 2005, the Academia Barilla Film Award ceremony was held in Brescello (RE) as part of the “Small World Cinematography” festival from 2005 to 2007, and in Parma from 2006 to 2008.
Here is a list of the winning films from each year.
There are short descriptions of each film. It is possible to view the short films with the permission of the filmmaker.