Food & Film 520 (Photo courtesy of Film Fest Tucson)

Film Fest Tucson Presents ‘Food & Film 520’ — 5 Chefs, 5 Courses & 5 Short Films

September 22, 2023
By Matt Sterner

As we creep into the fall season and further away from summer blockbusters, our so-called mental palates are cleansed with more meaningful movies at Film Fest Tucson. Sure, I really enjoy all of the impossible missions Ethan Hunt is faced with but there’s just something special about independent, non-mainstream films.

Film Fest Tucson 2023, happening on Thursday, October 12 – Saturday, October 14, is not only a place where moviegoers can meet filmmakers and experience their works of art — it’s an opportunity for the local food scene to shine.

Like prior years, the films are shown in multiple locations in and around downtown like at the Scottish Rite, AC Hotel, Main Gate Square, and even a few outdoor screenings on the north lawn at Children’s Museum Tucson.

Food & Film 520

This year, on Thursday, the Food & Film 520 event is taking place at 5:30 p.m. on the rooftop of downtown’s Playground. Synopsis: an unforgettable dining adventure where local food meets captivating short films.

Five local chefs, five courses, and five short films for $125. During each course, the five talented chefs will present a short film that inspired them. Courses are paired with wine and cocktails, too.

Keep in mind that this event is for those 21 years and older and seating is limited to 80 (grab your tickets before it’s too late).

Local Chefs

  • Janet Balderas – Executive Chef
  • Ben Caballero – Executive Chef at Playground Bar & Lounge
  • Gary Hickey – Executive Chef/Partner at Flores Concepts
  • Obadiah “Obie” Hindman – Executive Chef at Mountain Oyster Club
  • Gina Skelton – Pastry Chef/Owner at Sugar Momma Cakery

Short Films

  • “Meet Los Parents” – Directed by Joey Medina
  • “They Grow Up So Fast” – Directed by John Beach
  • “Photo Op” – Directed by Dava Whisenant
  • “The Art of Crossing” – Directed by Tobiasz Walkiewicz
  • “The Captain” – Directed by Nash Edgerton

For more information and to purchase your tickets, visit

Aside from the Food & Film 520 dinner and screenings, there are a few food-related films to feast your eyes on. Pay attention to the dates and locations and start planning now!

The Taste of Things

Saturday, October 14, 6 p.m.
Location: Scottish Rite Red Room

“The relationship between Eugenie, an esteemed cook, and Dodin, the gourmet she has been working for over the last 20 years. Growing fonder of one another, their bond turns into a romance and gives rise to delicious dishes that impress even the world’s most illustrious chefs. When Dodin is faced with Eugenie’s reluctance to commit to him, he decides to start cooking for her. Juliette Binoche stars in this love letter to food and the art of cooking.”

Directed by: Anh Hung Tran

Buy Tickets.

Rachel’s Farm

Friday, October 13, 8 p.m.
Location: Scottish Rite Red Room

“Besieged by drought, brushfires, and ecological despair in the soil beneath her feet, an Australian farmer begins a journey of discovery to regenerate the land on her farm. Starring and directed by Rachel Ward, who will be present at the screening for a post-film discussion about regenerative farming.”

Directed by Rachel Ward

Buy Tickets.

For more information on all of the films at this year’s Film Fest Tucson, visit

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