Ridgefield Independent Film Festival kicks off with documentary on female chefs


Ridgefield resident Joanna James is the director behind “A fine line,” a critically acclaimed film about women in the culinary industry. The film examines why less than 7 percent of chefs and restaurant owners are women, even though traditionally women have held the central role in the kitchen.

April Bloomfield, chef in residence at the Mayflower Inn in Washington, appears in the film, alongside starred chefs Cat Cora, Dominique Crenn and Lidia Bastianich. James’ mother, Valerie, who owned Val’s restaurant in central Massachusetts since 1991, is also featured.

The opening event of the Ridgefield International Film Festival (RIFF) on October 7, will host a screening of the film and a cocktail party at the Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center.

Cocktail hour will be rounded off with tastings from Fairfield County’s best female chefs: Jes Bengtson from Ground and Friends, Silvia Baldini from Strawberry & Sage and Grace Farms Foods, Sarah Bouissou from Wine Bar Bernard & Sarah, Barbara Nevins from Southwestern Cafe, Anna Llanos from Mothership Bakery & Itadakimas, and more.

James will be available for a post-screening Q&A with participating chefs and restaurateurs. She is also the founder of MAPP (Mentoring, Advocacy, Pandemic Relief and Women’s Power), a nonprofit that supports the growth and scale of food organizations led by women.

“The film is so personal to me, not only because it tells the story of my mother who succeeded through thick and thin while raising two children, but because it also highlights all the personal and professional challenges. that women still face today, “James said in a statement. “And we’re excited to showcase the culinary talents and female restaurant owners of Ridgefield and Fairfield County at the cocktail party of the evening.”

Reception starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $ 35; available on the RIFF website. For all in-person screenings, the RIFF requires proof of vaccination with a corresponding photo ID and face shield. For more information visit riffct.org/film-guide-2021/a-fine-line.


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