Harvesting Memories, a short film sharing culinary traditions from the eyes of a child, won the 1st Prize in IGCAT’s International Food Film Menu 2023 competition. The winner from Saimaa, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2024, was announced together with 2nd Prize, Latitude Iche Route: A Journey Through the Flavors of Manabí; 3rd Prize, Catalonia Is Appetising; and the Public’s Favourite Film, The Apocalypse of the Aegean, at an award ceremony organised in the framework of Girona Film Festival, on 11 November 2023.
Attended by a delegation of over 30 international representatives from IGCAT and the World Regions of Gastronomy Platform, the event was held at the Casa de Cultura in Girona, as part of the 35th Girona Film Festival.
A screening of all category winners of the Food Film Menu 2023 saw food as local food as the protagonist.
1st Prize: Harvesting Memories, from Saimaa, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2024 (Finland)
Already shortlisted as the best short film in the Educating for Our Future category, the film produced by Minna Rautiainen-Cimrin and directed by Ukko Torni for Visit Karelia, Harvesting Memories, invites us to step into the world of a 10-year-old Finnish girl as she takes us through her precious day. Through her eyes, we witness the seamless passage of these traditions, where food and nature intertwine.
“A delightfully narrated film showing the wild beauty of North Karelia. The storytelling made by a child gives special magic to the charming images,” affirmed jury member Lluís Valentí.
“Superb photography and very inspiring images of a family outing in the forest. Everything is well thought out, from the accessories to the outfits, and it is quite nice to listen to the young girl talk about the family transmission of eating well,” stated jury member Virginie Brégeon.
2nd Prize: Latitude Iche Route – A Journey Through the Flavors of Manabí, from Manabí, World Region of Gastronomy candidate 2026 (Ecuador)
Following selection as the best short film to showcase a World Region of Gastronomy, Latitude Iche Route: A Journey Through the Flavors of Manabí, directed by Juanka Castillo for FUEGOS Foundation takes us on a gastronomic tour on the Latitude Iche Route, and is an invitation to explore the flavours, aromas, and techniques that make this region a unique culinary destination on the global stage; promoting sustainability, local development, and culinary excellence.
“A film that transmits love and respect for the land, showing us the changing landscapes and people connected to them along the route Latitude Iche,” affirmed jury member Mai Damgaard.
“Latitude Iche, a tasting route in Ecuador, is very well illustrated in the film. We get to discover traditional products and meet locals that are dedicated to this collective promotion of the territory through food” stated jury member Virginie Brégeon.
3rd Prize: Catalonia Is Appetising, from Catalonia, World Region of Gastronomy awarded 2025 (Spain)
Catalonia Is Appetising was chosen as the best short film in the Health and Well-being category of the Food Film Menu 2023. Ferran Adrià’s quote “It is in breaks that innovation grows. Stop, think, plan. And then produce” guides Maria, Núria, Cesc and Marc on their journey/reunion in Catalonia, the land that saw them grow emotionally and culinarily. To know where you are going, you have to know where you are coming from, and in Catalonia they will experience the tastiest break of their lives. Produced by Craft i Sr. Alce Films and directed by Blai Graell for the Catalan Tourist Board, it won third prize.
“What a line-up! Amazing cast showing the importance of connection, heart, health, landscapes, friends and family. It reminds us of the importance of taking time for ourselves, our close ones and the planet by making simple but necessary choices” affirmed jury member Mai Damgaard.
“An entertaining story showing beautiful landscapes and connecting art, history, tradition and cuisine. It is an uplifting video that makes great use of different audio-visual resources to create a storyline on the main concept of break, keeping food at the centre,” stated jury member Irene Giannakopoulos.
Each year IGCAT opens the Food Film Menu to a public vote and this year the Public’s Favourite film was The Apocalypse of the Aegean, first shortlisted as the best short film featuring one or more Young Chef Ambassadors. The film directed by Yiannis Glinatsis-Reisis, from the South Aegean, European Region of Gastronomy awarded 2019 (Greece), delves in to the life of young chef Aikaterini Gonidaki, who represented the South Aegean at the European Young Chef Award 2022. It shows her personal journey from childhood to professional cook in Patmos and Kos. In this video, we watch the evolution Kakavia, a fishermen’s dish, and Aikaterini’s deep respect for tradition and excellent ingredients of the Aegean Sea and her incredible innovation of the dish.
“A beautiful narration with a crucial message about the connection between territory and cuisine, as well as the importance of passing knowledge from generation to generation,” stated jury member Irene Giannakopoulos.
“A poetic and committed video showing beautiful landscapes and a traditional recipe carefully made on a boat. We then follow this young chef in her gastronomic restaurant, where her undoubted talent is shown,” affirmed jury member Virginie Brégeon.
IGCAT’s International Food Film Menu
IGCAT’s International Food Film Menu 2023 included 11 categories: World Region of Gastronomy; European Region of Gastronomy; Young Chef Ambassadors; Food and Craft Gifts; Feeding the Planet; Innovation, Creativity and Job Opportunities; Educating for Our Future; Balanced and Sustainable Tourism; Linking Urban and Rural; Health and Well-being; Best Young Director.
A committee of international experts in the food, culture and film sectors shortlisted one winning short film in each category, which now form the Food Film Menu 2023, to be showcased in different international film festivals. Among the category winners, they chose 1st, 2nd and 3rd Prize.
The international jury included: Mai Damgaard Rasmussen (Denmark), Director of the FoodFilmFestival of Aarhus and Chair of the jury; Lluís Valentí, Director of the Girona Film Festival (Spain); Irene Giannakopoulos, Founder and President of Amorgos International Film Festival (Greece); Robert Palmer (Scotland), independent consultant and former Director of Culture, Cultural and Natural Heritage at the Council of Europe; Virginie Brégeon de Saint-Quentin, expert in design, marketing and artistic direction (France); and Raúl Torres Ajiaco, Communications Manager and Digital Content Creator at IGCAT (Colombia).
Following the announcement of the category winners, IGCAT opened an online public’s vote (10-17 October 2023) to select the Public’s Favourite Film.
About IGCAT’s International Food Film Menu
IGCAT’s Food Film Menu contributes to internationally promote local food products, know-how, traditions and new trends related to gastronomy and crafts; encourage film directors to become ambassadors for their regions; and stimulate awareness of food and cultural diversity.
According to director Ljubomir Stefanov, official ambassador for the project, “IGCAT’s Food Film Menu is a wonderful initiative that raises awareness about food’s vital role in local sustainable development.”
To increase the visibility of the Food Film Menu, IGCAT collaborates with several international film festivals and cultural institutions including: the FoodFilmFestival in Aarhus; Girona Film Festival; EATSA Art & Tourism Film Festival; ART&TUR International Tourism Film Festival; Amorgos Tourism Film Festival; Menorca International Film Festival; and NNLE Youth Palace of Zugdidi Municipality in Georgia.
All category winners of the Food Film Menu 2023 are available here:
Watch the winners of the previous editions:
About the World/European Regions of Gastronomy
World/European Regions of Gastronomy, guided by IGCAT, are working together to strengthen food security through the celebration of distinctive food cultures; create employment by stimulating creativity and gastronomic innovation; nourish children and adults through culinary and cultural education; driving environmental sustainability in tourism, hospitality and agricultural sectors; supporting balance and sustainable tourism practices; highlighting and supporting expertise from within rural and urban communities, creating connections and sharing good practices; and contributing to community health and well-being.
IGCAT aims to empower local communities by raising awareness of the importance of protecting and promoting distinct regional food, culture, arts and natural assets as part of sustainable and balanced tourism and development strategies. This is essential to safeguarding our planet, health, wellness and local economies.
IGCAT is a non-profit institute established in 2012, working with regional stakeholder consortiums in the fields of gastronomy, culture, arts and tourism. It counts on the expertise of a worldwide network of experts and works in partnership with specialised intergovernmental organisations.
IGCAT founded the World/European Region of Gastronomy Award and is the official secretariat for the World/European Regions of Gastronomy Platforms. Furthermore, the Institute has developed the European Young Chef Award, the World Food Gift Challenge, the Top Websites for Foodie Travelers Award and the international Food Film Menu.