Environmental Film Festival to Screen Documentary on Restaurateur Nora Pouillon

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Three decades after she opened what eventually would become the nation's first certified organic restaurant, Washington's Nora Pouillon is the subject of a documentary that will be screened this weekend as part of the 17th annual Environmental Film Festival in the District.

The 30-minute film looks at Pouillon's evolution from a young Austrian immigrant surprised by Americans' lack of food knowledge into an organic-movement pioneer. In addition to opening Restaurant Nora in 1979, Pouillon initiated the Washington area's first producer-only farmers markets, launched connections between farmers and chefs and was instrumental in creating organic certification standards for restaurants, among other achievements.

"Nora!," directed by Joan Murray and produced by Michelle Williams and Sandy Cannon-Brown for VideoTakes Inc., screens at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Carnegie Institution for Science, Elihu Root Auditorium, 1530 P St. NW. A discussion with Pouillon and the filmmakers follows. Admission is free; reservations are not required.

Other documentaries in the remaining days of the festival, which runs through Sunday, also touch on food issues:

-- "The World According to Monsanto," about the controversial corporation. 6:30 p.m. today, Carnegie Institution for Science. Free.

-- "Garden Cycles Bike Tour," about a group of friends who set off to explore the East Coast's environmental agriculture and local food movement. 5:30 p.m. tomorrow, Dumbarton Oaks, Main House, Music Room, 1703 32nd St. NW. Free.

-- "Wild Ocean," about the annual feeding frenzy off South Africa as billions of sardines migrate up the coast. 7 p.m. tomorrow, National Museum of Natural History, Johnson Imax Theater, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. $13, $7 for children younger than 10. Buy tickets at http://www.residentassociates.org or call 202-633-3030.

-- Four films about solar cooking, noon Friday, Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives, 1207 17th St. NW. Free.

-- "The Garden," about the struggle to preserve the largest community garden in the country, 1 p.m. Sunday, Avalon Theatre, 5612 Connecticut Ave. NW. $10; $7.50 for seniors, children and students. Buy tickets at http://www.theavalon.org or call 202-966-6000.

For more information, go to http://www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.

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