Watch outdoor movies in bed and feast on food from 20 international pop-up restaurants during April
This April, all of the good stuff is in Parramatta's Prince Alfred Park – and we’re not even exaggerating. PicNic Street Food and Cinema is a festival of great international food and movies. And you even get to watch the films from the comfort of a bed.
That’s right: every session of PicNic involves 50 inflatable double beds plus blankets, so you can snuggle up and enjoy the film in optimum comfort. The movies are audience favourites from 15 different countries, reflecting the food served in the 20 pop-up restaurants open for business in the park each night.
The concept is the brainchild of Vincent Hernandez, from creative advertising agency BBR (who put on the BBR French World Festival in Circular Quay around Bastille Day each year). “The idea to have the double beds was to create a kind of a buzz, which I think we did,” Hernandez admits (indeed, the PicNic website crashed due to initial demand for tickets).
“We wanted to create something extremely multicultural. The idea was to bring a movie selection that was really different, with movies from different countries, matching with the food in the food festival. So you get a taste of the food and a taste of the culture.”
Hernandez and his associates took the idea to Parramatta Council, who jumped on board. “They were very happy that something like that was coming to Parramatta instead of going to Sydney, as usual. We could have done it in Sydney, but Parramatta is so multicultural, it’s perfect.”
The PicNic film line-up puts to shame the often anodyne programs of many of the outdoor cinema seasons that have just ended (see below for the full PicNic schedule): “Instead of having all the blockbusters that everyone will be going to watch anyway, it’s bringing something different.” Hernandez admits it was a risk to screen older art films, but the pace of ticket sales has vindicated the programming of the likes of Iran’s A Separation and of Studio Ghibli animations instead of Disney.
Food available will include paella, dumplings, crepes, curries, tacos, pizza, burgers and lots more.
Oh, and in case you’re flying solo? You can actually book a single bed. “We won’t be matching people who don’t know each other on the same bed,” Hernandez laughs. Mind you, it would make for a memorable blind dating scenario…
Fri Apr 8 Muriel’s Wedding (Australia, 1994)
Sat Apr 9 Starbuck (Canada, 2011)
Sun Apr 10 Where Do We Go Now? (Lebanon, 2012) TIME OUT PICK!
Mon Apr 11 The Grandmaster (Hong Kong, 2013)
Tue Apr 12 Saving Grace (UK, 2000)
Wed Apr 13 Ponyo (Japan, 2008) TIME OUT PICK!
Thu Apr 14 The Lives of Others (Germany, 2006) TIME OUT PICK!
Fri Apr 15 Volver (Spain, 2006) TIME OUT PICK!
Sat Apr 16 The Concert (France/Russia, 2009)
Sun Apr 17 The Lunchbox (India, 2013)
Mon Apr 18 A Separation (Iran, 2012) TIME OUT PICK!
Tue Apr 19 Loose Cannons (Italy, 2010)
Wed Apr 20 Castle in the Sky (Japan, 1986)
Thu Apr 21 Oldboy (South Korea, 2003) TIME OUT PICK!
Fri Apr 22 Into the Wild (USA, 2007) TIME OUT PICK!
Sat Apr 23 The Spanish Apartment (France, 2002)