Vanishing Pearls

More than a foodie festival

Deconstructing Dinner aims to pair art and activism.

Jon Steinman believes there’s no better place than Nelson to host the third annual Deconstructing Dinner Film Festival. Now in its third year, it runs from October 1-4 and features 11 food documentary screenings.

“For a small community, Nelson has such a unique blend of good food and the arts. Throw in a one-of-a-kind non-profit movie theatre, and I think the perfect recipe is right here in Nelson for a world-class film festival which we can call our own,” said Steinman, who founded the event.

He said the event is less interested in the culinary side of food.

“The origins of food touches us all. These films are all about where are foods are coming from, and that’s appropriate for every single person in the community. The festival tries to blend food appreciation and food awareness.”

Steinman curated the films this year, and said he was aiming for a balance of thought-provoking works and “touch the heart” films.

The festival opens on Wednesday, October 1 with a 6:30 p.m. screening of Vanishing Pearls at Spiritbar.

The film shares the untold and personal stories of those affected by the devastation wrought by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2012.

As 49 billion barrels of oil settle in the once vibrant waters of the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, a generations-old group of African-American fisherman pledge to fight for their way of life.

During the event there will be an oyster bar, drinks provided locally by Nelson Brewing, and a number of other opportunities for community members to come together and talk about the implications of the food we consume.

“The idea is not to just stop at showing films. It’s to incorporate the actual showing of food and showcasing of people in the community who are actually doing something different,” he said.

On Thursday, the Civic Theatre will screen Just Eat It at 7 p.m. and The Last Shepherd at 9 p.m.

The first film follows Vancouver filmmakers Jen Rustemeyer and Grant Baldwin as they tackle the issue of waste from farming, retail and even our own fridges.

They focus on the billions of dollars of good food that is discarded every year in North America.

The Last Shepherd chronicles the daily life of Renato Zuchelli, the final shepherd in Lombardi, Italy. Melding reality with flights of fancy, the film was directed by Marco Bofanti.

On Friday, Expressions will show All in This Tea at 7 p.m. and Salmon Confidential at 9 p.m.

The first show follows world-renowned American tea importer David Lee Hoffman to some of the most remote regions of China.

It will be followed up by an expose on what filmmaker’s call the government’s coverup of what exactly is killing BC’s wild salmon.

On Saturday there will be five films playing: The Last Ocean, No Land No Food No Life, Sugar Shack, The Sower and Bean to Bar. All of them are playing at the Civic Theatre.

The Last Ocean is about the Ross sea in Antarctica, one of the most pristine stretches of ocean on earth. It plays at 2 p.m.

No Land No Food No Life is that latest from activist filmmaker Amy Miller, who is now taking on the excesses of global agribusiness. It shows at 4 p.m.

At 7 p.m. there will be two films screened, Sugar Shack and The Sower (Le Semeur).

“Both of those films are about or from Quebec,” said Steinman, noting that he was trying to broaden the horizon of the topics covered and audiences reached by the festival.

He said one of his favourite films is The Sower.

“I was touched by how this individual who is featured in the film has been able to blend art and gardening in such a well-woven ways. He’s combined the two, and he’s preserving heritage seeds, which I consider extremely important,” he said.

The final film of the festival is Bean to Bar, which plays at 9 p.m. on Saturday. The film focuses on the artisan chocolate-makers renaissance in the United States.

There will be a live chocolate making showcase on Saturday, as well as a poutine bar. Last year tickets sold out, so get them early.

Tickets are $10 per show. For more information, or to buy tickets and view trailers, visit

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