The Rosendale Theatre Presents its First Annual Mushroom Festival



Films, food and more

First Annual Mushroom Festival

On Saturday, May 14, the Rosendale Theatre will present its first annual Mushroom Festival with films, food, mushroom ID sessions, expert panel discussions, and an opportunity to meet the filmmakers. The program will start at 2 pm and run until midnight with four movies, two discussions, and a mushroom meal break! 
 
The day begins with the highly-regarded 2020 documentary, The Truffle Hunters, which focuses on a handful of older men who hunt for the rare and expensive white Alba truffle. The film will be followed by a lively discussion panel with Paul Sadowski, nationally recognized mycologist and educator; Eugenia Bone, internationally known food and science writer (author of the books, Mycophilia, and Microbia); and Maria Reidelbach, local food activist, artist, and best-selling author (Completely Mad: A History of Mad Magazine). Reidelbach and Bone are both past presidents of the New York Mycological Society. Moderating the discussion will be filmmaker and fellow mycophile (lover of mushrooms) Pam Kray.
 
The second presentation, Now, Forager, is an award-winning 2012 indie film that follows the lives of married mushroom foragers and chefs whose relationship contends with their other loves, mushrooms, and (slow) food. Filmmakers and mycophiles Jason Cortlund, who also stars in the film, and Julia Halperin will introduce their film and discuss it afterward. Their subsequent films include Barracuda (2017) and Crookedfinger (now in post-production).
 
Changing pace, the day continues with the Attack of the Mushroom People (Matango in Japanese), a 1963 Japanese sci-fi film about encountering strange mushrooms after being stranded on an island. And capping the festival’s presentations will be Fantastic Fungi, a favorite of the Rosendale Theatre. In gorgeous time-lapse footage, Fantastic Fungi explores the stories and the science of fungi and makes a case for studying “magic mushrooms” and their therapeutic value. 
 
Boxed meals featuring mushroom dishes created by the Big Cheese, the Rosendale Theatre’s next-door culinary neighbor, will be available at 4:30 pm. 
 
Tickets for the meal and the individual films are available for presale online through the Rosendale Theatre website: rosendaletheatre.org. In addition, same-day ticket purchases may be made at the Rosendale Theatre box office starting at 1:15 pm on May 14.

Festival Schedule:
2:00 PM - Documentary - The Truffle Hunters
4:30 PM - Mushroom Meal
6:00 PM - Drama - Now, Forager
8:30 PM - Japanese Sci-Fi - Attack of the Mushroom People
10:00 PM - Documentary - Fantastic Fungi
 
The festival is presented by Rosendale Theatre’s Science on Screen® and Filmmakers Series. Science on Screen® is an initiative of the Coolidge Corner Theatre, with significant support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Only 36 of the competitive Science on Screen® grants were awarded nationwide in 2021-2022. The Filmmakers Series receives support from the J.M. McDonald Foundation.
 
Additional festival sponsors are NY businesses, Ecovative and its spinoff company MyForest Foods, Catskill Fungi, and Barner Books. Ecovative, founded in 2007, makes products from mushrooms and mycelial networks, such as insulation and packaging. Ecovative’s spinoff company, MyForest Foods, is developing mycelium-based food products. Catskill Fungi, located not too far from Rosendale in Ulster County, has the mission of improving the community and the environment through education and mushroom health extracts. Barner Books, located in New Paltz, sells used books, crafts and supports local artists and writers by selling their products. 
 
About: Saturday, May 14: The Truffle Hunters at 2:00 pm; Now, Forager at 6:30 pm; Attack of the Mushroom People at 8:30 pm; Fantastic Fungi at 10 pm. Tickets are available in advance at rosendaletheatre.org. Tickets are also available in the box office, which opens 45 minutes before showtime. Movies: $10 for general admission and $6 for members. Boxed meal: $30 or $26 for Rosendale Theatre members.
 
MISSION OF THE ROSENDALE THEATRE COLLECTIVE: To operate the historic Rosendale Theatre as a vital and diverse cultural Hudson Valley nonprofit organization. We use the power of film and live performance to entertain, educate and inspire connection.



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