Path Alias: 

Spinning Plates: A Night of Food, Film and Philanthropy

(2013, 93 mins, DCP)
FEATURING Grant Achatz
April 28th's screening includes an informal panel discussion and a chance to sample the wares of Vancouver’s top restauranteurs: David Hawksworth, Sean Heather, Jackie Ellis, Andrea Carlson and Angus An (see below for details, meal vouchers will be sold separately).
“Celebrating 25 Years of the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards”.


Apr 28 06:45 pm
May 01 06:30 pm

Guest passes and volunteer passes not accepted for the April 28th screening.

It takes more than good food to make a restaurant work. Passion, persistence, independence, conviction, these are the the ingredients celebrated in Spinning Plates, an award winning documentary about three extraordinary restaurants and the incredible people who bring them to life. A world-renowned chef (Grant Achatz, Alinea) competes for the ultimate restaurant prize in Chicago, while privately battling a life-threatening condition. A 150-year-old restaurant in Iowa (Breitbach’s Country Dining) is still standing only because of an unbreakable bond with the community. And a fledgling Mexican restaurant in Tucson (La Cocina de Gabby) struggles as its owners risk everything to survive and provide for their young daughter. Their unforgettable stories of family, legacy, passion and survival come together to reveal how meaningful food can be, and the power it has to connect us to one another.

Spinning Plates is a foodie phantasmagoria and something more. On one level a series of mini-docs on a trio of wildly different eating establishments, it becomes a group portrait of the restaurant business as well as an involving look at personal dramas that go well beyond the kitchen.

This is the first documentary feature for writer-director Joseph Levy (who previously produced the Food Network series "Into the Fire"), and he has been shrewd in the three restaurants he profiles — places that have passionate, articulate key personnel who would all agree that, as one of them puts it, "This is not just our job; this is our life." —Kenneth Turan, LA Times

Guests in Attendance: Vancouver’s top restauranteurs
After the screening on Monday, April 28th, join us for an informal panel discussion with some of Vancouver’s top restauranteurs to talk about cooking as a vocation, their feelings about high end and casual dining, the demands and rewards of putting food on the table as a way of life. We’re also inviting these chefs to bring along a sample of their wares. Proceeds from the meal voucher will be donated to a charity of their choice (meal vouchers sold separately). Panelists include:
•    David Hawksworth (Chef, Hawksworth Restaurant)
•    Sean Heather (owner, The Irish Heather Gastropub, the Shebeen Whiskey House, the Salty Tongue Deli, Salt)
•    Jackie Kai Ellis (owner and baker, Beaucoup Bakery and Café)
•    Andrea Carlson (Burdock & Co)
•    Angus An (Maenam)

“Splendid and engrossing … a love letter to that singular intersection of artistic innovation, cultural legacy, community pride, and family-sustaining (or -straining) commerce known as the restaurant.” —Village Voice

From Neurons to Nirvana

(2013, 108 mins)
FEATURING Gabor Mate, Dennis McKenna, Rick Doblin, Charles Grob, Jeremy Narby, Stanislav Grof, Professor David Nutt


Apr 20 07:00 pm
Apr 29 08:30 pm
May 01 08:30 pm

What if everything you thought you knew about drugs was wrong? What if society has misread - or been misled - about what science says about psychedelic substances? What if prohibition only exists to safeguard social inhibition (and big pharma profits)? Through interviews with the world’s foremost researchers, writers, psychologists and pioneers in psychedelic psychotherapy, Vancouver filmmaker Oliver Hockenhull explores the history of five powerful psychedelic substances (LSD, Psilocybin, MDMA, Ayahuasca and Cannabis) and their now established medicinal potential.

Note: The screening on 4/20 will be the alternate 69-minute cut Neurons to Nirvana co-credited to Hockenhull and Mikki Willis. It will feature a free panel discussion the issues raised in the film. Confirmed panelists are Wade Davis, Chris Bennett, Gillian Maxwell, Tu Tu Xuiyari (Rosary of Peyote Flowers), Sobey Wing (Evolver Vancouver) and Oliver Hockenhull.

Oliver Hockenhull bio

Oliver is an artist, screenwriter, communication theorist, stand-up philosopher, essayist and lecturer who works in film, video, hyper media installations, writing, and design. He taught at Northwestern University in Chicago and has presented at Universities in Canada, the US, and Europe. His films are visionary meals, spiced by an intimate, poetic, and enlightening perspective into the complexity of issues and subjects under examination. He has concentrated on pivotal subjects; an early film essay about political discourse and activism, the social and intellectual import of the eminent writer, Aldous Huxley, an experimental film essay on evolution that features Richard Dawkins (and the gorillas of the London Zoo), and an essay on the built environment and the binary code. From Neurons to Nirvana is his latest film.

CHRIS BENNETT has been studying the historical role of cannabis—particularly in the realms of religion, spirituality and magic—for over 20 years. A passionate and committed advocates for reclaiming and honouring cannabis’ potential as a medicine and spiritual ally, Chris is also considered one of the leading scholars on the history of the spiritual use of cannabis. He is the author of three books: ’Green Gold the Tree of Life: Marijuana in Magic and Religion’ (1995); ’Sex, Drugs, Violence and the Bible’ (2000); and ’Cannabis and the Soma Solution’ (2010), as well as dozens of articles on this same theme for a variety of magazines and journals. Chris currently resides in Vancouver, where he owns and runs an ethnobotanical shop, The Urban Shaman.

GILLIAN MAXWELL is the Project Director of Keeping the Door Open: Dialogues on Drug Use (KDO). KDO is a multi-sectoral, community-based coalition that organizes dialogues on problematic substance use to educate the public and inform public policy in Vancouver. Maxwell is a knowledge exchange broker and is well known in British Columbia as the host and facilitator of many public forums that have taken place at Simon Fraser University’s Wosk Centre for Dialogue. An experienced organizer, public speaker and facilitator, Maxwell brings human warmth to match a sophisticated and well-crafted rigour to public debate and dialogue events.

WADE DAVIS is a Canadian anthropologist, ethnobotanist, author and photographer whose work has focused on worldwide indigenous cultures, especially in North and South America and particularly involving the traditional uses and beliefs associated with psychoactive plants. Davis came to prominence with his 1985 best-selling book The Serpent and the Rainbow about the zombies of Haiti. Davis has published popular articles in Outside, National Geographic, Fortune and Condé Nast Traveler. Davis is an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society. Named by the NGS as one of the Explorers for the Millennium, he has been described as “a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet and passionate defender of all of life’s diversity.” In recent years his work has taken him to East Africa, Borneo, Nepal, Peru, Polynesia, Tibet, Mali, Benin, Togo, New Guinea, Australia, Colombia, Vanuatu, Mongolia and the high Arctic of Nunuvut and Greenland.

"Fuses science, art and spirituality into a seamless whole." Geoff Olson, Vancouver Courier