Last week I visited the charming town of Oxford, Mississippi along with my colleague Amanda France (pictured left) to present the CEI film I, Whiskey: The Human Spirit at the Oxford Film Festival. We had an initial screening Thursday night at local watering hole The Oxford Growler in conjunction with the presentation “Women, Whiskey, and Beer” by Brandalyn Bostic Tabor of Women and Whiskey, LLC. Brandalyn is also co-owner of the Lock & Key Whiskey Bar in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and gives an irreverent and entertaining presentation on the role of women in drinking history. It was great fun sharing the spotlight with her.
On Friday evening, we screened I, Whiskey again as part of the festival’s food and film track. After our audience watched a couple of other short films produced by the Southern Foodways Alliance, Amanda and I came to the front of the theater with our fellow producers for a Q&A session with the eager crowd. We were also treated to food prepared by James Beard-nominated chef Meherwan Irani of Chai Pani Restaurant Group while watching the Indian travel documentary starring him and his fellow chefs, Cutting Chai.
Amanda and I had a great time at the festival, and had the opportunity to talk with many festival attendees about the themes of commerce, creativity, and freedom that are on display in I, Whiskey. We were also able to see the latest in independent film, from the history of a racially-integrated intentional community in Soul City to the lighthearted dramatic short My Big Fat Lesbian Bat Mitzvah.
On a related note, I should also mention that the R Street Institute’s Kevin Kosar, who generously served as a panelist at CEI’s Repeal Day event last December, has a new book out, Moonshine: A Global History. Kevin’s new book is a second entry in the University of Chicago Press’ “Edible” series, following the 2010 release of Whiskey: A Global History. Discerning imbibers should purchase both without delay.