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It's a festival perfect for date night – dinner and a movie for one ticket.

For five out of the seven events during the 3rd Annual Sacramento Food Film Festival, moviegoers pay one price to watch a movie and enjoy dinner with a menu based on the film's topic.

"This is a chance for guests to soak up the amazing food and drinks that Sacramento has to offer while also feeding their minds," festival founder and food writer Catherine Enfield said.

Proceeds from the festival benefit the California Food Literacy Center, a Sacramento-area nonprofit that provides low-income children with food literacy education.

"We are proud to be the beneficiary of such a creative event that not only gives people the opportunity to enjoy the amazing food of the Sacramento region, but also helps spread food literacy through the creative medium of film," California Food Literacy Center Founding Executive Director Amber Stott said in a press release.

The festival kicked off Thursday night with a screening of the movie Spinning Plates at Ten22 in Old Sacramento. The Hollywood-style premiere featured appetizers and drinks provided by the restaurant as well as a red carpet with photographers to shoot 'red-carpet photos' of festival-goers.

Before heading into the movie, students from the food literacy center talked to the crowd about what they learned in the program.

"You could see the enthusiasm that they had for food and what they learned in [the] program," Enfield said about the students. "That is something that – they're 8 years old now – they're going to carry that through the rest of their lives. And hopefully, because of it, be healthier for it."

Enfield started the festival three years ago because she wanted to see more food-related documentaries come to Sacramento. She said only big, well-known documentaries, like Food Inc., made it to the area.

"I wanted to see these films and so suddenly had a light bulb moment of why not have a food film festival," Enfield said. "The first year was all documentaries, and actually last year too.

"Then this year, people had said, 'hey, how about having dramas too.' That's why this year there is more of a mix," she said.

The festival includes a screening of the animated film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and the 2008 drama Bottle Shock. This year also includes a short film produced by a local filmmaker about his urban farm in the Oak Park area of Sacramento. Enfield hopes future festivals will include more locally produced food-themed movies.

"This year, not only are we having stuff that will appeal to all kinds of audiences … but also, different price points," Enfield explained.

Cost of events range from free to $40, which was the cost of Thursday's premiere. The festival runs through March 30, with tickets still available for the remaining six events. For the festival's full schedule check out sacfoodfilmfest.com

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