2018 Newport Beach Film Festival: Culinary Film Series

There’s special care and attention that must be given to a certain genre of films on display at this year’s Newport Beach Film Festival and if you ask why, the answer is food.

During the cinematic fête that is the Newport Beach Film Festival (happening April 26 – May 3 in Newport Beach), eight movies will highlight the grit, the grind and the grandiosity of the curious epicurean world. Taken together, this collection of moving movies make up the 2018 Culinary Film Series. (Follow along on Instagram, @nbff_culinary.)

Here’s more information about the entries:

Constructing Albert

Synopsis: The most important revolution in culinary history took place in a remote cove on the Catalan coast. The Big Bang of creative discovery that was elBulli sparked from the minds of two brothers from a poor suburb of Barcelona, and gave birth to a new gastronomic universe. Albert Ferran is the famous maestro people know, however, with 29 years of a brilliant career behind him, the only recognition Albert has achieved is that of being the most underrated chef in the world.

Cuban Food Stories (West Coast Premiere)
Synopsis: Cuban Food Stories is a unique film about food, society, and culture on the island of Cuba. A road-trip adventure around the island to discover the most authentic flavors and stories behind Cuban cuisine. A film with unprecedented access to regions that are so remote you can only get there by raft, horseback, or swimming. A journey that will leave your mouth watering as we take you from the middle of nowhere to the big cities and discover an exciting Cuba in a time of change.
Grand Cru

Synopsis: Pascal Marchand, an aspiring poet from Montreal, arrived in the mythical land of Burgundy to work the harvest at age 21. Enchanted by the region, he settled there and embarked on an unlikely path to winemaking stardom. Now over 30 years later, he is renowned as an artist and innovator, finding his inspiration in the ancient techniques of the Cistercian monks who meticulously studied and refined Burgundy’s winemaking in the middle ages. Shot over his most difficult year ever, the catastrophic 2016 season which saw devastating frosts, hailstorms and disease in the vineyards, the film is both a love letter and a cautionary tale, as winemakers like Pascal must face the unpredictable and destructive consequences of climate change.

Michelin Stars: Tales from the Kitchen

Synopsis: All chefs dream of a Michelin star, and those who have one (or more), work tirelessly to keep this distinction. Michelin Stars goes behind the scenes to see how the stars are awarded, to talk to the chefs who work tirelessly to maintain their status, and the impact of the little red book on the world of haute cuisine. The film is a is a thoughtful and elegant meditation on creativity, business, and the art of perfection, chronicling the inner-workings of the culinary world through the eyes of the chefs, the critics and their customers. Featuring Alain Ducasse, Daniel Humm, René Redzepi, Andoni Aduriz, Yoshihiro Narisawa, Victor Arquinzoniz, Guy Savoy and many others.

Ramen Heads

Synopsis: Legendary Chef and, “Ramen King” Osamu Tomita opens his kitchen along with five other prestigous ramen shops to share recipes and trade secrets. The directorial debut of Koki Shigeno, RAMEN HEADS is a beautiful, simple and stylized homage to none other than noodle and broth … or all the philosophy and flavor that comes along with the soupy calling. 

Scotch: A Golden Dream
Synopsis: “Uisge beatha,” Gaelic for “water of life.” For hundreds of years Scotch whisky has been used for its medicinal qualities, prescribed for the preservation of health, the prolongation of life, and relief of numerous illnesses. It is enjoyed in more than 200 countries throughout the world, generating over $6 billion in exports each year. Scotch: A Golden Dream is a filmic exploration of the magic, golden water of life – uisge beatha!
Three Days of Glory (World Premiere)

Synopsis: The hills of Burgundy are covered in legendary vineyards, pristinely manicured, tiny parcels rooted in the planet’s most exclusive soils. The wine growers are hardworking, humble vignerons who work in awe of the vines they farm. Each November, this reeling wine region explodes with color and decadence as winemakers, chefs, writers, critics, industry legends, foodies and aficionados converge on the sleepy heart of Burgundy wine country for three days of raucous celebration. A series of events like no other, Les Trois Glorieuses brings an eccentric collection of connoisseurs together around mind-blowing meals and an unthinkable range of the greatest wines on the planet. Three Days of Glory takes the first ever, all-access look at everything that goes into this extraordinary festival. The film explores never-before filmed events and follows a colorful cast of vignerons throughout the brutal 2016 season as winemakers prepare for the celebration. Get an inside perspective on the food, wines and personalities that make Burgundy the epicenter of the wine world and the Three Days of Glory the pinnacle of wine celebration.

ULAM (Main Dish)

Synopsis: ULAM (Main Dish) is a food documentary following the rise of the Filipino food movement via the chefs crossing over to the center of the American table. The film features Alvin Cailan (Egglsut, Unit 120), Nicole Ponseca & Miguel Trinidad (Maharlika, Jeepney), Romy Dorotan & Amy Besa (Purple Yam), Johneric Concordia & Christine Araquel-Concordia (The Park’s Finest), Charles Olalia (Ricebar), Chase Valencia & Chad Valencia (LASA), and Andre Guerrero (The Oinkster, Maximiliano, The Little Bear).

All films in the Culinary Film Series will screen at Edwards Big Newport (300 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach), THE LOT at Fashion Island (999 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach) and Starlight Triangle Square Cinemas (1870 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa).

Click here for the full 2018 Newport Beach Film Festival schedule.