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The latest film from Michael Winterbottom to close the seventh edition of Culinary Zinema


Seven productions from Argentina, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Spain, UK and USA, five of them first films, make up the San Sebastian Festival section organised jointly with the Basque Culinary Center and in collaboration with the Berlinale

Culinary Zinema, the San Sebastian Festival section combining cinema and gastronomy, will consist in its seventh edition of seven films telling stories taking their inspiration from gastronomies in Asia and Europe. The closing film is brought to us by Michael Winterbottom, applauded with the Silver Bear (In This World) and the Silver Shell for Best Director (Genova), who will present, alongside Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, The Trip to Spain.

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), recognised 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 analyse 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. Elena Arzak, from 3*Michelin Arzak restaurant in San Sebastián; Latin America’s best female chef Kamilla Seidler, from Gustu in La Paz; and Alain Weissgerber, from Taubenkobel restaurant located in the Austrian town of Schützen am Gebirge, will create the opening dinner. Rubén Trincado, from Mirador de Ulía restaurant in San Sebastián, Daniel López, from Kokotxa restaurant in San Sebastián, and Kepa Txapartegi, from Alameda restaurant in Hondarribia, will take their inspiration from the film Constructing Albert. The Japanese chef Mutsuo Kowaki will prepare a delicious packed lunch in tribute to the storyline of Papa no obento wa sekaiichi Dad’s Lunch Box. Osamu Tomita, the most prestigious of the Japanese ramen chefs, will prepare the meal to follow Ramen Heads. Andrea Tumbarello, chef at Don Giovanni, Madrid’s Italian eatery par excellence, will evoke the food in exile of E il cibo va. Tomás Kalika, who recovers the inheritance of Jewish cookery recipes around the world in his Buenos Aires restaurant Mishiguene, and the chef at Ni Neu, Mikel Gallo, will take their inspiration from The Cakemaker. With the exception of this dinner, to take place at Ni Neu, the others will be hosted by the Basque Culinary Center. Lastly, the Mexican chef Enrique Fleischmann, owner of Txoko in Getaria and of the Bailara in Bidania, will prepare the closing dinner with Jorge Maestro, chef at nöla (Siguënza). Txoko and nöla are two of the restaurants featured in The Trip to Spain. 

The combined tickets for the screenings and their dinners will go on sale on the Festival and Kutxabank websites on September 4 at 9 a.m. onwards at a price of 70 euros. Tickets for the screenings alone can be purchased from September 17 at a price of 7.20 euros.

The Culinary Zinema section is sponsored by Nespresso.

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