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Docs Celebrate Soil, Farms, Food

Tue, 04/09/2024 - 11:42
The documentary “Common Ground” focuses on the benefits of regenerative farming by both large-scale and small-scale farmers.

As Earth Day approaches its 54th anniversary, Hamptons Doc Fest, in partnership with the Southampton Arts Center, has chosen as the theme of this year’s Docs Equinox “Cultivating Connections: Soils, Farms, Food.”

The three-day festival, which starts tomorrow at the arts center, will include, in addition to four films, food and wine receptions, Sunday breakfast treats, and an “Earth Central Hub” staffed by four environmental groups: ChangeHampton, Cornell Cooperative Extension, East End Food, and the Peconic Land Trust.

“We are so excited to once again partner with Hamptons Doc Fest on Docs Equinox, a program that celebrates Earth Day and focuses on the environment, our soil, our farms, and our food,” said Christina Strassfield, the arts center’s executive director.

The cocktail receptions and the information hub will happen from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Tomorrow’s film, “Food, Inc. 2: Back for Seconds,” a feature documentary directed by Robert Kenner and Melissa Robledo, premiered at the Telluride Film Festival. It features innovative farmers, food producers, and prominent legislators, among them Senators Cory Booker and Jon Tester, all of whom are working to build a healthier, more sustainable food industry.

“Meaningful change is going to require breaking up the handful of very large and very powerful companies that dominate the food industry,” say the filmmakers. Mr. Kenner also directed “Food, Inc.,” which was nominated for the best documentary feature Oscar in 2009.

Saturday’s film, also set for 7 p.m., is “Common Ground,” a feature by Josh Tickell and Rebecca Tickell, which explores the changes that have taken place in our food system over the past 50 years and attempts to find a “common ground,” or agreement, on how regenerative farming by both large-scale and small-scale farmers can be used to improve the soil, food, and people’s health.

Narrated by Laura Dern and other actor/environmental activists, the film has won many awards, among them the best human/nature film at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival, where it premiered.

The program will be introduced by Kate Plumb, a food activist who heads the Sag Harbor and East Hampton Farmers Markets and co-founded Slow Food East End and the East End Community Organic Farm (EECO Farm) in East Hampton.

Coffee and breakfast treats will be on offer at 11 on Sunday, after which, at 11:45, Scott Chaskey, a poet and the longtime head of Quail Hill Farm in Amagansett, will speak about his latest book of essays, “Soil and Spirit: Cultivation and Kinship in the Web of Life,” which will be available for sale.

Two short films, “The Soul of a Farmer” (35 minutes) and “Kelp!” (32 minutes), will follow at noon. Directed by Roger Sherman, “The Soul of a Farmer” is about Patty Gentry, a former chef who owns and operates Early Girl Farm in Brookhaven on three acres she rents from Isabella Rossellini. Ms. Gentry and Ms. Rossellini, who has called her tenant “the Picasso of vegetables,” will take part in a conversation after the film.

“Kelp,” directed by Anna Roberts and Caylon La Mantia, documents the superpowers of kelp and how it can regenerate coasts and communities and possibly create biodegradable plastic.

Tickets for each day are $20, $15 for members of the arts center, $10 for students and children. Three-day passes cost $50, $40 for members.

SoFo Sandwich Co. Opens at Old Breadzilla Spot

The lunch options in Wainscott got more interesting this week with the opening of the SoFo Sandwich Co. at the long-empty spot that was previously home to Breadzilla, popular for its baked goods and takeout breakfast and lunch menu. The new shop is by Peter Ambrose, a catering chef whose food many will be familiar with from Love Bites, a fund-raiser for Katy’s Courage, among others.

May 22, 2024

News for Foodies 05.23.24

A new sunset cocktail hour at the Baker House, C.S.A. programs at Quail Hill and Amber Waves, multiple openings and reopenings, breakfast at the Sweet Shop.

May 22, 2024

News for Foodies 05.16.24

Three waterfront restaurants reopen, Canvas & Cuisine at the Parrish, Dopo Buttero shifts to French-Asian cuisine, new spirit-based seltzers.

May 15, 2024

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