View three very different shorts that scooped top awards in food movie contest

The recent winners of the Food in Film competition, sponsored by unearthed®, saw three very different films – shot by Carl Pendle, Mandy Mortimer and Jignesh Jhaveri – catching the eyes of the judges. The judging panel was George Motz (filmmaker, TV host and hamburger expert), Nik Powell (Director of the UK’s National Film and Television School) and James Winter (Executive Editor, Saturday Kitchen Live for BBC). The Video Mode spoke to all three winners about their movies, which had to be no more than 120 seconds, and to judge Nik Powell…

The winner of the documentary category and overall winner was Carl Pendle’s Chilli Festival. Carl explained: ‘The film was shot on the Panasonic GH4 with tilt-shift adapter and an old Nikon lens from the 1970s! It was set in slow-mo mode at 96 frames per second to capture the facial expressions. I wanted a different look with this film than from a standard event film coverage perspective. I wanted it to look nostalgic just to set the tone a bit. That way no one had any idea what was going to come.’

Nik Powell said of Chilli Festival: ‘It may seem a simple and maybe even obvious idea, but this film is successful because that very simplicity allows it to combine human beings with one of their favourite, if most dangerous, foods in a film of great charm, humour and, dare I say it, humanity.’

The winner of the non-documentary category was Ireland’s Mandy Mortimer, for the movie ‘Carrot Cake from Scratch’. It was shot on two DSLR cameras simultaneously – a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and a 5D Mark II, with Canon EF100mm f/2.8 Macro USM and Canon EF50mm f/1.4 USM lenses. She lit the scene with two LED lights, recorded ambient sound on a Zoom H4n and edited and graded footage using Avid Media Composer.

Mandy revealed: ‘I specifically wanted the video to be edited around the music… so finding the right track was my first step. Once I had it, I knew that my edits would be quick and snappy, so I knew what sort of shots I’d need to take so that everything fitted to the pace of the track.’ Nik Powell commented: ‘It is the unfussiness and directness of this film which is for me its very great strength. It shows the making of a carrot cake clearly, simply but aesthetically very pleasingly. It makes it look as simple as it probably is.’

The People’s Choice category went to India’s Jignesh Jhaveri for his movie ‘The Chocolatier’. It was filmed with a RED Epic Dragon camera, with footage shot at up to 300 frames per second, and was lit with tungsten lighting.

Jignesh told The Video Mode: ‘The client is a small, new brand in the business of handmade chocolate… so a short film was suggested that highlighted their process with a tiny bit of mystique.’ Nik Powell added: ‘We don’t see any human being or part thereof at all… just the high society feel, not only of the chocolate itself but more importantly of its making. Chocolate for me is all about class and sheer indulgence and so is this film.’

The Food in Film competition was part of the annual Food Photographer of the Year competition – to find out more click here.