Pep Gatell’s documentary “Off-Road. Mugaritz, Feeling a Way” will open San Sebastian Festival’s fifth Culinary Zinema sidebar, a collaboration between the Berlinale and the Basque Culinary Center.
A philosophical and ethological docu from the creative director of renowned Catalan theater group La Fura dels Baus, “Off-Road” reveals the ideas and the work process at Basque restaurant Mugaritz, run by chef Andoni Luis Aduriz.
The section will close this year with Luis Gonzalez and Andrea Gomez’s behind-the-scenes docu feature “Cooking Up a Tribute,” in which the team behind Catalan restaurant El Celler de Can Roca pays homage to the cuisines and restaurants of Mexico, Peru and Colombia and bring their hallmark mix of traditional produce and high-tech cookery to some of Latin America’s choicest gastronomy.
Produced by Spanish high-street bank BBVA’s media division BBVA Contenidos and sold worldwide by Spain’s rights sales house Agencia Freak, “Cooking Up” formed part of Berlin’s selective Berlinale Culinary Cinema.
One of the most highly appreciated sections by San Sebastian fest spectators, Culinary Zinema’s upcoming edition has increased to 17 the number of titles selected, including 13 feature films, nine of them in competition.
Sake, Japan’s national drink, is the star in two of the documentaries in competition. In “The Birth of Sake,” a U.S. co-production, Erik Shirai offers a richly immersive portrait of the 144-year old Yoshida Brewery, in northern Japan, producer of a world-class sake.
Sold by Fortissimo Films, Mirai Konishi’s “Kampai! For the Love of Sake” looks at the universe of sake through a British sake brewer, an American journalist and the young president of a centuries-old Japanese sake brewery.
Also in competition, Pierre Deschamps’ U.K.-Denmark docu feature “Noma, My Perfect Storm” follows Danish restaurant Noma’s gastronomy pacemaker Rene Redzepi over a period of three years.
Handled by TrustNordisk, the “Noma” docu has already sold in standout territories such as Germany and Austria, purchased by NFP, Korea (Atnine Film Co.) and Japan (Longride).
The screening of seven Culinary Zinema films will be accompanied by themed dinners by chefs of international prestige. Mugaritz’s Andoni Luis Aduriz will prepare the opening dinner, whereas the Roca brothers from El Celler de Can Roca, together with a chef invited by them, will be in charge of the closing dinner.
This year’s Culinary Zinema program was unveiled Thursday in San Sebastian by Thomas Struck, head of Berlin’s Culinary Cinema section; Joxe Mari Aizega, director of the Basque Culinary Center; and Jose Luis Rebordinos, San Sebastian fest director.
The San Sebastian Film Festival’s 63rd edition runs Sept. 18-26.