The opening film, Michelin Stars – Tales from the Kitchen, looks at the highs and lows of the Michelin Guide in this golden age of gastronomy. It is directed by Rasmus Dinesen, author of the films Det forbudte landshold (The Forbidden Team), about the first Tibetan national football team; Verdens bedste kok (World’s Finest Chef), about the victory of Danish chef Rasmus Kofoed at the Bocuse d’Or championship; and the documentary TV series Star Chefs about Michelin-starred restaurants.
Laura Collado collaborated with Justin Webster (Muerte en León and El fin de ETA / The Demise of ETA, Zinemira 2016) on the Al Jazeera series People & Power. Jim Loomis has worked as a cinematographer and editor for productions by BBC, ARTE and CNN. Together they helm the feature film Constructing Albert, about the “most underrated chef in the world”, Albert Adrià, brother of the man who created El Bulli.
In her first feature film, E il cibo va / Food on the Go, Mercedes Córdova, director of the prize-winning short Acá nunca está nublado, looks at the tradition of Italian food in the diaspora a hundred years after millions of Italians immigrated to Argentina.
Another first work is The Cakemaker, by Ofir Raul Graizer, whose short film La discotheque screened in the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes in 2015. The film, a co-production between Germany and Israel which competed at Karlovy Vary, tells the tale of a young German pastry chef who heads for Jerusalem in search of answers when his lover dies.
Koki Shigeno, a veteran director of TV documentaries, has now made his first feature-length film, Ramen Heads, selected for Hot Docs (Canadian International Documentary Film Festival). The film follows Osamu Tomita, today’s king of the ramen in Japan, on a 15-month tour of the lives of the masters of this dish and its legions of followers.
Masakazu Fukatsu debuts in feature films with Papa no obento wa sekaiichi / Dad’s Lunch Box, the true story of a father and his daughter -which went viral on social media- brought together by the bento box in which people carry their packed lunches in Japan.
Michael Winterbottom, to whom the Festival dedicated a retrospective in 2003, formerly competed in the Official Selection with Nine Songs (2004), winner of the Best Cinematography Award, Tristam Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2005) and Genova (2008), recognized with the Silver Shell for Best Director. The Trip to Spain, selected for Tribeca, is his first incursion to Culinary Zinema. After The Trip and The Trip to Italy, Winterbottom renews his collaboration with actors Steve Coogan (Philomena) and Rob Brydon (Would I Lie to You?) to analyze six meals in six places on a road trip through Spain, from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean coast.
To complete the experience, the screenings will be followed by meals linked to the content of the films.
2017 San Sebastian Film Festival – Culinary Zinema – Films
MICHELIN STARS – TALES FROM THE KITCHEN
RASMUS DINESEN (DENMARK)
OPENING NIGHT FILM
At a moment in time when humanity is obsessed with food –photographing every dish, worshipping cooks and flaunting trophy meals on social media–, this documentary goes under the surface and offers an in-depth, honest and relevant view into the world and day-to-day of Michelin chefs and restaurants. Telling tales from a grand menu of culinary temples as well as digging into the greatness and flaws of the Michelin Guide in this golden age of gastronomy.
OFIR RAUL GRAIZER (GERMANY – ISRAEL)
Cast: Tim Kalkhof, Sarah Adler, Zohar Strauss, Sandra Sade, Roy Miller
Thomas, a young German pastry maker, is having an affair with Oren, a married Israeli man who makes frequent business trips to Berlin. When Oren dies in a car accident in Israel, Thomas heads for Jerusalem in search of answers to his death. Using a false name, Thomas worms himself into the life of Anat, his lover’s recently widowed wife, to the point of becoming assistant chef in her bar.
KOKI SHIGENO (JAPAN)
Osamu Tomita, Japan’s reigning king of ramen, takes us deep into his world, revealing every single step of his obsessive approach to creating the perfect soup and noodles, and his relentless search for the highest-quality ingredients. This is a documentary record of 15 months in the lives of Japan’s top ramen masters and their legions of devoted fans.
E IL CIBO VA / FOOD ON THE GO
MERCEDES CÓRDOVA (ARGENTINA – ITALY – USA)
Gastronomic culture is the result of man’s travels in search of new things to eat. For proof, we only have to look at how Italian food journeyed to America with the mass migrations. Almost a hundred years later, retracing the steps of food and its voyage to New York and Buenos Aires, we now find the foundation of a new tradition of Italian food in exile. What relationship does it bear to its country of origin? Can we talk about Italian food outside of Italy?
PAPA NO OBENTO WA SEKAIICHI / DAD’S LUNCH BOX
MASAKAZU FUKATSU (JAPAN)
Cast: Toshimi Watanabe, Reina Takeda
This is a heart-warming true story of the father and daughter connected by bento, the Japanese packed lunch in a box. Throughout her three years at high school, the young girl would eat the bento made for her every day by her father. On her last day she found that her lunchbox contained a picture of the very first bento that her father had made for her with a handwritten message from him. The girl tweeted the occurrence, making 350,000 people cry on Twitter. The message was retweeted more than 80,000 times and got 260,000 ‘likes’.
LAURA COLLADO, JIM LOOMIS (SPAIN – ESTONIA)
At the dawn of the 21st century, El Bulli restaurant revolutionized the world of gastronomy, making chef Ferran Adrià the king of haute cuisine. Behind such a success, was an unrecognized creative genius: Ferran’s younger brother, Albert. In 2013, Albert Adrià was considered the world’s most underrated chef. Enigma, the crown of his gastronomic empire opens with a clear goal: to become one of the best restaurants in the world. This is Albert’s attempt to escape the shadow of legendary El Bulli and enter the Pantheon of great chefs.
THE TRIP TO SPAIN
MICHAEL WINTERBOTTOM (UK)
Cast: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon
CLOSING NIGHT FILM
Michael Winterbottom is on the road for the third time with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, after their success with The Trip and The Trip to Italy. Six meals in six different places on a road trip through Spain from the North Atlantic to the Mediterranean coast – visiting Cantabria, the Basque Country, Aragon, Rioja, Castile La Mancha and ending in Andalucia. Steve, now turned 50, is still chasing love – he wants to get back together with his ex-girlfriend Mischa, but she is with another man. Rob’s acting career is going from strength to strength, his family life is fulfilling – he has had another child since Steve last saw him. Steve has just starred as a chef in a US TV series and is asked to do a set of restaurant reviews in Spain to publicise the show. As usual Rob will write the newspaper articles, this time using Don Quixote as inspiration. Meanwhile Steve is hoping to write a more ambitious book based on this trip and his earlier experiences in Spain. He imagines himself in the tradition of writers such as Orwell, Hemingway, and Laurie Lee. After all, Steve is now an Oscar nominated writer…