Film Festival

Stronger Than Fiction 2021 Documentary Series: SET!

Table reveal parties and taxidermied monkeys: enter the eccentric, exacting and cutthroat world of competitive table setting!

The Orange County Fair is “the Olympics of Tablescaping” and contestants are out for blood. Judging is ruthless: one slightly misplaced spoon or a fingerprint on the glass could spell doom for a table, and the pressure brings controversies and old rivalries to the fore.

Beneath the high stakes and silverware, Set! is a lighthearted meditation on passion -- caring about something to a degree that most others just won’t understand. Whether it’s ritualistically using a sensory deprivation tank to find creative inspiration, recruiting your whole aquarobics team to help you source porcelain, or measuring a place setting to a fraction of an inch, people who harbour any kind of deep passion are likely to see themselves in this story.

“Tablescaping means different things to different people... an outlet for processing grief, for building self-confidence, or for pissing people off, depending on who you are.” - Hot Docs

“A surprisingly satisfying study of a cult-like pocket of the population that competes in Table Setting... a full-throated contest akin to wrestling, racing and the Oscars” - Anna Brodie, What She Said