Five world premieres will make up the Culinary Zinema section at the 70th San Sebastian Festival, which opens with Mibu. The Moon on a Dish (Mibu. La luna en un plato), taking an in-depth look at the famous Japanese restaurant. Virgilio, a portrait of the chef at the restaurant in Lima, Central, will close the section also including a third documentary, La Huella, historia de un parador de playa, and two fictions, Xiao shan he (Nostalgia) and The Zen Diary (Tsuchi wo kurau junikagetsu).
Ttheatre actor and producer Roger Zanuy debuts as a director with Mibu. La luna en un plato, a film revealing the history and sources of inspiration of the Mibu restaurant, a gastronomic temple that has thrilled acclaimed chefs from all over the world who appear in the documentary, amongst others, Ferran Adrià, José Andrés, Massimo Bottura, Joan Roca, Andoni Luis Aduriz, Oriol Castro and Albert Raurich.
Alfred Oliveri who already brought to Culinary Zinema his debut Tegui: Un asunto de familia / Tegui: A Family Affair (2018) and La leyenda de Don Julio: Corazón & Hueso / The Legend of Don Julio: Meat & Bone (2019), returns to the section with Virgilio, a documentary approach to the chef Virgilio Martínez, whose restaurant Central, situated in Lima (Peru), is listed as the best of the decade in Latin America and number 2 in the world (The World’s 50 Best Restaurants).
In La Huella, historia de un parador de playa, the Italian-American moviemaker living in Argentina Alessio Rigo de Righi takes his camera to a small town in Uruguay where three friends have been working for 20 years on the challenge of creating a beach restaurant like the ones that used to exist in the 50s.
The Chinese director and screenwriter Peng Chen will show his second feature film, Xiao shan he (Nostalgia), a fiction in which cuisine and food play an important part through the young protagonist, a girl who returns to her hometown where she reunites with her grandmother and her childhood friends.
Finally, the latest fiction from the Japanese moviemaker Yuji Nakae, The Zen Diary (Tsuchi wo kurau junikagetsu), tells the tale of a writer who lives alone in the mountains, where he prepares zen dishes with the vegetables he grows and the mushrooms he gathers in the hills, reminding us what it’s like to live in nature, with the smell of soil and the wealth of life.
The five feature films in the section will be accompanied by themed dinners running from September 19 to 23 at the Basque Culinary Center and whose common denominator will be the journey to foodie destinations including Uruguay, China, Japan and Peru.
MIBU. LA LUNA EN UN PLATO / MIBU. THE MOON ON A DISH
ROGER ZANUY (SPAIN)
Country(ies) of production: Spain
OPENING NIGHT FILM
Documentary film opening the doors to one of today’s most influential restaurants, Mibu, hidden away in a spot where classic Japan meets cosmopolitan Tokyo. The Ishida husband and wife duo tell us their story and share their sources of inspiration with the spectators. All told by some of the world’s greatest chefs who have been touched by Mibu: Ferran Adrià, José Andrés, Massimo Bottura, Joan Roca, Andoni Aduriz, Oriol Castro and Albert Raurich.
LA HUELLA, HISTORIA DE UN PARADOR DE PLAYA / LA HUELLA. THE STORY OF A BEACH BAR/RESTO
ALESSIO RIGO DE RIGHI (USA)
Country(ies) of production: Argentina
Twenty years ago, three friends in the flower of their youth met to take up a challenge: to build on the beach of a small Uruguayan village a beach restaurant like the ones that used to exist in the 50s. Pure simplicity and honesty. A wood and straw ranch on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, where tales of Argentina, Uruguay, sea bass, silverside, the great artist Pedro Figari, fishermen, good wines, Francis Mallmann and the omnipresent fire, toasts and friendship as their starting and finishing point interweave.
TSUCHI WO KURAU JUNIKAGETSU / THE ZEN DIARY
YUJI NAKAE (JAPAN)
Country(ies) of production: Japan
Cast: Kenji Sawada, Takako Matsu
Tsutomu lives alone in the mountains, writing essays, cooking Zen food with the vegetables he grows and the mushrooms he picks in the hills. His routine is happily disturbed when Machiko, his editor and love interest, occasionally visits. Tsutomu seems content with his daily life. On the other hand, he still hasn’t let go of his wife’s ashes, although she died 13 years ago…
XIAO SHAN HE / NOSTALGIA
PENG CHEN (CHINA)
Country(ies) of production: China
Cast: Haoyu Chen
At the age of 25, Qinghe returns from Shenzhen to her hometown, which has taken on a new look, prompting her to start a business. During the days spent with her grandmother in the countryside, Qinghe recalls what happened in the old house. She remembers her father, who died early, forgives her mother, who remarried, and finds comfort in her two friends.
ALFRED OLIVERI (ARGENTINA)
Country(ies) of production: Argentina – Uruguay
Cast: Virgilio Martínez, Pía León, Malena Martínez
CLOSING NIGHT FILM
Virgilio Martinez is much more than a chef, he is an artist. Although his Central restaurant in Lima, Peru, is considered to be the best of the decade in Latin America and number 2 in the world, and his wife Pía León is considered to be the world’s best female chef, his inspiration, research and creative work goes much further than these recognitions. Virgilio is an explorer of Peru’s different regions, giving its origin to the revolutionary concept of the “World in Altitudes”, based on the elevations of the earth that forever changed the way local gastronomy is seen in today’s world.