Foodie film fans … this one’s for you. And it’s also pretty much for everyone else who eats food.

Jane Pickens Film and Events Center is holding its first “Foodie Film Festival” beginning Friday, November 4. The festival features a dozen food-related films over eight nights running through Sunday, November 13. For the event, Pickens is partnering with Discover Newport as well as several area restaurants. The festival coincides with Newport Restaurant Week.

You can expect a wide range of films – from award-winning classics like Chocolat and Julie and Julia to the animated kid-friendly Ratatouille. Click here for the complete schedule.

We spoke with Pickens owner Kathy Staab and learned more about how she pulled together the event. The theater has organized several themed screenings recently including a collection of spooky movies for Halloween.

“I thought a lot about our different customer bases and tried to bring in a broad range of films,” she explained. Many return night after night, “during Restaurant Week, you can have a well-priced meal at any of these restaurants and then go to a movie,” Staab added.

Staab is especially excited about the new film The Art of Eating: The Life and Appetites of M.F.K. Fisher. The film is described as “a feature documentary about the exciting life and lasting impact of the groundbreaking mid-century California food writer M.F.K. Fisher, who elevated cooking from a domestic chore to a critical study of life itself.”

“She was one of the first people to write about the subject and is known for really sensuous writing about food. When she published, she had to write under a name where people couldn’t figure out she was a woman, at that point in time (the 1950’s), she wouldn’t have gotten published. Her writing was the beginning of the California ‘farm to table’ movement,” added Staab.

They’ll also have the first screening of a new film being released nationally in late November. “The closing film Love Charlie is about a chef in Chicago who ran one of the very early upscale restaurants. It’s a great story,” says Staab.

Area restaurants and food trucks have joined in on the fun.

“We’ll have the A Mano pizza truck parked out in front of the Theatre during Mystic Pizza (Thursday, Nov. 10),” Staab shared. “We have a partnership with 41 North for The Art of Eating (Friday, Nov. 4). They are doing a tasting on the night after the movie with a 2-for-1 deal … you have to show your ticket stub from the film to get the deal.”

Charter Books in Newport is another local business taking part in the festival. They’ll be setting up a food book display in the Pickens lobby with ties to the movies on Fridays and Saturdays during the nine-day festival.

Other local businesses setting up shop at Pickens during the Festival include Bellevue Boards on Wednesday, November 9 with grab ‘n go charcuterie arrangements and The French Confection with complimentary treats available in the lobby for Who’s Killing the Great Chefs of Europe and Chocolat (Friday, November 11).

The Festival runs from November 4 – 13. Click here for the complete schedule of the Foodie Film Festival.

Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music, the arts and more for What'sUpNewp. He is also a contributor to Providence Monthly, SO RI, Hey Rhody and The Bay magazines. Ken DJ's "The Kingston Coffeehouse,"...