June 18, 2024

“Love Language of Food”: Student Movie Venture Spotlights Cuisine as Prevalent Denominator Throughout Cultures, Continents

05/24/2022 – 09:35am | By: David Tisdale

USM Media and Entertainment Arts (MEA) students in the School of Communication spent the last year in a collaboration with students at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand, for their production of the short film “The Food That Binds: Building Cultural Relationships Across the Table” focusing on how the preparation and enjoyment of food can be the common denominators that bridges multiple differences between people around the world.

USM Media and Amusement Arts (MEA) learners in the College of Conversation invested
the very last 12 months in a collaboration with college students at Thammasat College in Bangkok,
Thailand, for their production of the short film “The Foodstuff That Binds: Building Cultural
Interactions Across the Table” concentrating on how the planning and enjoyment of food stuff
can be the typical denominators that bridge distinctions between men and women all-around the entire world.

Differences in language, society, political and religious beliefs might current limitations
to setting up relationships amongst, say, a Hattiesburg resident and a citizen of
Bangkok, Thailand.

But a quick documentary manufactured by students in The College of Southern Mississippi
(USM) Faculty of Communications’ Media and Entertainment Arts (MEA) method, in collaboration
with counterparts at a university in Thailand, intends to display its audiences that
even with the variances amongst men and women all around the planet, coming with each other more than a scrumptious
food can bridge individuals chasms.

The “Breaking Bread Film Job,” a collaboration in between Breakthrough Now Media
and The Innovation Station at the U.S. Office of Point out, provides movie and media
creators from international and U.S. Gulf Coastline areas to perform on new quick-sort
information influenced by their shared experiences and tips. Through this collaborative,
creators from 5 U.S. states and five international locations are paired and tasked with conceptualizing
and producing a quick film or other job addressing the intersection amongst food
insecurity, traditions, and innovation. The program culminates in a showcase of the
collaborative initiatives.

Mississippi/USM is partnered with Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand, for their
manufacturing “The Food stuff That Binds: Building Cultural Interactions Throughout the Table”
to be screened in July at the Cash Screening Collection in Washington, D.C., at the
United Nations, and at consulates and husband or wife stakeholders in the U.S. and in the
companion Asian country’s college and consulates. It will also be screened at the
Catalyst Festival in Duluth, Minnesota in September.

Representatives of Breaking Bread linked with Dr. Mary Lou Sheffer, professor in
the USM University of Conversation and senior school member in its MEA plan, about
participation from her students for the challenge. They include things like Zack Eddy of Petal,
Mississippi Mia Slone of Alexandria, Virginia Eli Goff of Gautier, Mississippi
and Alisia Powell of Picayune, Mississippi.

With advisement from Dr. Sheffer and her MEA faculty colleague Jared Hollingsworth,
these college students centered their investigation on the communal factor of food items, inspecting the
dynamics of planning and conversation at mealtime as a result of the enter of restauranters,
cooks and other culinary gurus, as effectively as ‘foodies’ from across the Magnolia Point out
who love sharing foods with family members, friends, and even strangers.

Eddy mentioned how both equally cultures use several of the exact staple foods – rice, fish, and a
variety of greens, as examples – in developing time-honored recipes, employing distinctive
forms of seasoning and preparing kinds, in the farm-to-kitchen area-to-table process
exceptional to the communities profiled in the documentary.

“What we want to exhibit with this film is the commonality between persons, disclosed by
the satisfaction of getting ready and having scrumptious foods, no subject where they are organized
or with whom they are shared with,” he reported.

Goff reported he didn’t assume the venture to be as expansive as he originally assumed.
“I’m much more of an ‘eat-to-live’ sort of human being as opposed to the ‘live-to-eat’ folks
who are passionate about foods in approaches I couldn’t understand,” he continued. “It was not
until we started out seriously listening to other people’s perspectives on food stuff culture –
in Mississippi as nicely as other spots in the planet – that I understood food items plays a
major role in not only people’s own lives, but in making community as
very well. In point, it is designed me realize my individual spouse and children far more, as I imagine back again to all
the occasions my family would occur collectively and bond more than cooking.”

He claimed this principle was cemented in his mind as the staff attained out to local cooks
and restaurant owners and observed how enthusiastic they were being to notify them about what they cook dinner
and why it issues to them.

“Cooking is not only an action to bond over, but it is the basis for constructing associations
in Mississippi as well as Thailand,” Goff continued. “We all have to take in. Why not
do it collectively?”

Slone concurred. “When you sit down at the desk for a meal, you occur to see that
you are not as various from people from other cultures, other spots, as you consider,”
she claimed. “It reveals we’re extra alike than not.

“You set some very good foods in front of me at the table with other people, and I can be
friends with any one.”

For Powell, the venture underscored for her what she already comprehended about how
correct this dynamic is in her native South. “Being ‘Southern’ indicates close bonds, and
when we get collectively for a food, it does not matter about race, ethnicity, gender,
or politics, simply because we’re all family members in the stop.” 

Teamwork and patience have been important traits exercised by the crew in performing with
yet another group of students at a different college halfway close to the world, only a couple
of whom can talk English. “It’s been a discovering practical experience for all of us,” Dr. Sheffer
even more pointed out.

Dr. Edgar Simpson, director of the USM University of Conversation, praised Dr. Sheffer
for facilitating a venture for her students with these types of prominence in profile and get to.

“Our college are always searching for opportunities to offer our learners with new and
special opportunities,” Dr. Simpson ongoing. “This undertaking is an example of how technologies,
this kind of as audio and video clip, transcends common boundaries.”

Goff hopes when audiences see the team’s documentary, they come to recognize food stuff
is “a enjoy language spanning culture.”

“Even while Mississippi and Thailand are worlds absent from every single other, and no make any difference
how distinct individuals appear close to the world, everyone comes collectively when they’re eating,”
he said.

For information about the USM Faculty of Conversation, visit https://www.usm.edu/interaction/index.php.