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New doc looks at acclaimed chef Massimo Bottura’s remarkable soup kitchen, where meals are prepared using food waste

October 4, 2016 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

The documentary feature Theater of Life (Théâtre de la vie), directed by Montreal filmmaker Peter Svatek and co-produced by Triplex Films and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) in association with Phi Films, will screen on October 8 at the 45th Festival du nouveau cinéma (FNC) in Montreal. The festival runs October 5 to 16. The film will then open in Montreal theatres on December 23, screening with French subtitles at Cinéma Beaubien and English subtitles at Cinéma du Parc. Theater of Life follows renowned Italian chef Massimo Bottura as he goes on a mission to feed the disenfranchised in a remarkable soup kitchen, using food waste from the 2015 Milan World Expo. The doc received the Tokyo Gohan Award at the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain and has been selected to screen at festivals in Canada (Atlantic Film Festival, Planet in Focus, Devour! The Food Film Fest) and abroad (Mill Valley and Flatirons in the US, as well as the Haifa, Rio, and Warsaw festivals).

Theater of Life, 94 min – Quebec premiere
Screening at FNC with English subtitles on Saturday, October 8, at 7 p.m. (Cineplex Odeon Quartier Latin, Theatre 10)

The film is produced by Josette Gauthier for Triplex Films and Annette Clarke for the NFB, in association with Phi Films. It is distributed by the NFB in Canada and internationally by Seville International.

John Winter Russell of Montreal (Candide) joins 60 of the world’s best chefs from across Canada and around the world in Theater of Life, Peter Svatek’s documentary about Refettorio Ambrosiano, an extraordinary soup kitchen conceived by Massimo Bottura, in which food waste from the Milan 2015 World’s Fair was transformed into delicious and nutritious meals for Italy’s hungriest residents. A visual feast in itself, Theater of Life captures the remarkable relationship forged between the finest haute cuisine chefs in the world and the city’s most disadvantaged groups: refugees, recovering drug addicts, former sex workers, and a host of others with no place else to go. The film puts a human face on its powerful message of social justice while raising awareness about the enormous environmental impact of food waste.

About the filmmaker

Montreal-based Peter Svatek has written and directed both documentary and fiction films and is the co-founder (with Josette Gauthier) of documentary production company Triplex Films. Peter’s most recent documentary feature is Takedown: The DNA of GSP, nominated for several 2015 Canadian Screen Awards. Other recent documentaries include Stolen Babies, Stolen Lives (writer/director) and Targets: Reporters in Iraq (writer/producer). Recent fictional works include the two-part US miniseries Everything She Ever Wanted (director) and The Christmas Choir (director).


Associated Links

Triplex Films
Phi Films
45th Festival du nouveau cinéma
Cinéma Beaubien
Cinéma du Parc

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  • About the NFB

    Founded in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a one-of-a-kind producer, co-producer and distributor of distinctive, engaging, relevant and innovative documentary and animated films. As a talent incubator, it is one of the world’s leading creative centres. The NFB has enabled Canadians to tell and hear each other’s stories for over eight decades, and its films are a reliable and accessible educational resource. The NFB is also recognized around the world for its expertise in preservation and conservation, and for its rich and vibrant collection of works, which form a pillar of Canada’s cultural heritage. To date, the NFB has produced more than 14,000 works, 6,500 of which can be streamed free of charge at nfb.ca. The NFB and its productions and co-productions have earned over 7,000 awards, including 11 Oscars and an Honorary Academy Award for overall excellence in cinema.