The Food & Film Series will once again present “Big Night” — The Film and The Feast, a fundraiser for the Nevada City Film Festival and Miners Foundry Cultural Center April 7.
The event is an exciting and unique cinematic, dining and cultural experience that pairs the critically acclaimed film “Big Night,” starring Stanley Tucci (“Devil Wears Prada,” “The Lovely Bones,” “The Hunger Games”) and Tony Shalhoub (“Monk”), with a traditional Italian feast just like the one in the film. The evening’s featured film will be screened in the historic Osborn and Woods hall at the Miners Foundry where state-of-the-art projection and sound will be brought in for viewing pleasure. Following the film, celebrated and award-winning local chef Antonio Ayestaran has created a mouth-watering five-course meal of traditional Italian dishes for guests to savor, while enjoying Italian wine and the music of Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and, of course, Louis Prima.
“There is just something special about this film ‘Big Night’ that resonates with everyone who watches it,” said Jesse Locks, festival director for the Nevada City Film Festival, a nonprofit organization that provides art, entertainment, education and culture through the medium of film and video. “And no matter how many times you’ve seen it, you fall in love with the characters, the story and the food all over again.”
“Big Night” was released to critical acclaim in 1996. It went on to be nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the Grand Special Prize at the Deauville Film Festival.
“Big Night” is the tale of two immigrant brothers from Abruzzo who own and operate a restaurant called “Paradise.” One brother, Primo (Tony Shalhoub), is a brilliant, perfectionist chef who chafes under their few customers’ expectations of “Americanized” Italian food. Their uncle’s offer for them to return to Rome to help with his restaurant is becoming more and more appealing to Primo. The other brother, Secondo (Stanley Tucci), is the restaurant’s manager, who is enamored of the possibilities presented by their new endeavor and life in America. Despite Secondo’s efforts and Primo’s magnificent food, their restaurant is failing. They host a final “Big Night” to save the restaurant. The film also stars Minnie Driver, Isabella Rosellini, and Marc Anthony. “Big Night” literally makes your mouth salivate and your stomach growl! It’s that good! And not just because of the amazing Italian food, but the superb acting and plot.
Following the film, attendees will enjoy a dinner, perfect for both vegetarians and carnivores.
Chef Antonio’s menu includes antipasti plate and bread during the film; summer greens tossed in a light balsamic vinaigrette garnished with hearts of palm, roasted red peppers, kalamata olives and feta cheese; roasted spring asparagus; chef-carved bacon-wrapped pork loin stuffed with sun dried tree fruit with marsala sauce; braised chicken scaloppini made of boneless chicken thighs braised in a rich brandy and sherry sauce with portabella mushrooms, tomatoes, roasted garlic and green onions; herb roasted wild mushroom stuffed tomatoes with pecorino cheese; sun-dried tomato risotto garnished with crispy kale and Parmesan cheese; and for desert frozen port zabaglione served with a chocolate biscotti and fresh berries
Last year, the Nevada City Film Festival and Miners Foundry kicked off the Food & Film Series with “Big Night.” The event sold out.
“After last year’s ‘Big Night,’ we had so many people calling and emailing, asking if we were going to do it again. It seemed only right to make it a tradition,” said Gretchen Bond, executive director of the Miners Foundry Cultural Center. “It is also a fun way for people to show their support of these two community-based organizations.”
Located in the heart of downtown Nevada City, the Miners Foundry is a California Registered Historic Landmark. From its earliest days as a machine shop that spawned such modern marvels as the Pelton Wheel, which would go on to revolutionize hydroelectricity, to the fabrication of steel that was used in the Liberty Ships of World War II to its current use as Nevada County’s premiere cultural arts and community center, it is a symbol of California’s rich historical heritage, providing an educational and social bridge from our past to the present and future. From rock concerts and artisan festivals to community fundraisers and weddings, the foundry hosts more than 400 events a year. One of those events is the annual Nevada City Film Festival.
Now in its 13th year, the Nevada City Film Festival and its Magic Lantern Film Society presents a year-long program including a four-day film festival in late summer that celebrates independent film and filmmaking,and hosts filmmakers from around the world. Nevada City Film Festival also supports local filmmaking with the Young Filmmakers Music & Film Project, which brings together budding young filmmakers and local musicians, and the Young Filmmakers Grant.