In a rare move, Barcelona-based Film Factory Entertainment has snapped up world sales rights to documentary “Mibu, The Moon in a Dish” (“Mibu, La Luna en un Plato”), which opened the Culinary Zinema sidebar of the San Sebastian Festival Sept. 19.
The feature debut of Spanish filmmaker Roger Zanuy, the documentary transports audiences to members-only Tokyo restaurant Mibu, which has greatly influenced some of the most prominent chefs in the world, including Spain’s Ferran Adrià (El Bulli), Jose Andrés, also renowned for his humanitarian work, as well as Italy’s Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana, among several others.
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“We don’t handle that many documentaries but this film really captivated us; it has great international potential,” said Film Factory managing director, Vicente Canales. The sales company has secured worldwide rights, excluding Spain, he told Variety. His love of Japanese culture was also a deciding factor, he said.
For the first time, Hiroyoshi and Tomiko Ishida, the husband and wife team behind Miku, opened up their tiny restaurant to documentary filmmakers. Credit goes to Catalan musician Pep Sala and his fellow executive producer Esteve Guerra of Films Comestibles, who have had the privilege to dine there at least three times. Sala composed the original soundtrack for the documentary.
Out of a kitchen so small that only three people can work in it, comes a series of plates which as one talking head describes, are like abstract art paintings. There are only two tables and a total seating capacity of eight. They choose their customers and members are allowed to bring guests, but they could easily be disinvited.
Ishido’s obsession with having only the finest and freshest ingredients of the season where “every flavor is respected” leads to a culinary experience unlike any other. Mibu has become a mecca for chefs around the world, who come out of the experience changed forever.
Adrià’s El Bulli, named the best restaurant year after year before he shuttered it in 2011, was greatly influenced by Mibu. The doc culminates in Adrià inviting Ishido to spend a week cooking at El Bulli. To the Catalan chef’s surprise, Ishido descends on El Bulli with his own ingredients, dinnerware, chopsticks and even water and tables. “From that day, the dialogue between the art of western cuisine and Japanese culinary art began; it changed us a lot,” said Adrià.
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