This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival, a small but mighty event that will screen 83 films from 37 countries October 2-6. Films will be shown at multiple locations around Chagrin Falls including Chagrin Cinemas, Chagrin Valley Little Theatre, and the Federated Church.
One of those films, Buried Seeds, by Andrei Severny, traces the fascinating life of Indian-born chef Vikas Khannas. It is a sumptuous, lush film that takes the viewer on an immersive trip to India through food, aromas, colors, and sounds.
Chef Vikas was born with clubbed feet and experienced many challenges as a child. He found solace in his grandmother’s kitchen, the place where he found his spiritual calling and life’s purpose. Arriving in the United States in 2000 as a homeless immigrant, he rose to worldwide notoriety by helming the kitchen at New York City’s Junoon, one of the only Indian restaurants to earn multiple Michelin stars.
Now a chef of international renown and an author, speaker, and TV personality, Chef Vikas has never lost sight of how the rituals of his grandmother’s kitchen and the difficult experiences of his formative years shaped him, driving him to succeed beyond material measures.
The film’s title is a reference to the chef’s fortitude and his belief that transformative power is within all of us.
“When I look at a small seed it contains the whole universe inside it. It is like the strength hiding inside every living thing, every human being, within every seed. You need to break yourself up to be reborn,” he says in the film.
Buried Seeds will be shown on Friday, October 4 at 2:15 p.m. and Saturday, October 5, at 1:45 p.m.
Mary Ann Ponce founded the Chagrin Documentary Film to honor her son, David, who passed away at age 20 as he was making a film that chronicled an AIDS orphanage in South Africa.
Tickets go on sale September 1. The Opening Film on October 2 is The Weight of Water. Memberships and tickets, and all screening details, are available at chagrinfilmfest.org
—Story by Lisa Sands. Photos courtesy of Synchronicity Films