1. Media Space

  2. Press Releases

Produced by the NFB and Triplex Films in association with Phi Films Award-winning feature doc Theater of Life hits Canadian screens. Visit acclaimed chef Massimo Bottura’s remarkable soup kitchen-where meals for the most disadvantaged are made from food waste.


Plates served - Service

“Cooking is a call to act.” – Massimo Bottura

November 18, 2016 – Toronto – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

Acclaimed at film festivals at home and abroad, Peter Svatek’s feature documentary Theater of Life begins a theatrical tour December 3 in Toronto, bringing an inside look at a unique social and culinary experiment to cities across Canada.

Co-produced by Triplex Films and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) in association with Phi Films, Theater of Life is a movable cinematic feast, coming to the following cities:

  • Toronto, Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, December 3–5
  • Montreal, Cinéma du Parc, starting December 23
  • Montreal, Cinéma Beaubien, starting December 23 (French-language version, Le théâtre de la vie)
  • Edmonton, Metro Cinema, December 23, 26–28
  • Quebec City, Cinéma Cartier, starting December 23 (French-language version, Le théâtre de la vie)
  • Vancouver, Vancity Theatre, January TBC

Featuring Q&As with the director at select screenings.

In an extraordinary soup kitchen in Milan, two vastly different worlds have been brought together by a unique social experiment. 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.

Renowned chef Massimo Bottura, whose Osteria Francescana was named world’s best restaurant in 2016, asked 60 international chefs to join him in transforming surplus food from Expo 2015 in Milan―whose theme was Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life―into delicious and nutritious meals for Italy’s hungriest residents.

Among the top chefs lending Bottura a hand are Canadians Jeremy Charles of St. John’s, Newfoundland, and John Winter Russell from Montreal, alongside international stars like Ferran Adrià, René Redzepi and Alain Ducasse. They’ve all become engaged in Bottura’s vision for sustainable cooking, relishing the experience of gathering around a table with their hungry guests to share a meal in the beautiful Refettorio Ambrosiano, decorated by Italy’s finest artists and artisans. A visual feast in itself, Theater of Life puts a human face on its powerful message of social justice while raising awareness about the enormous environmental impact of food waste, in which 1.3 billion tons of food per year are thrown away globally, or fully a third of all food produced.

Theater of Life was named Best Canadian Feature at Toronto’s Planet in Focus International Environmental Film & Video Festival and also garnered the Tokyo Gohan Award, given to the winner of the San Sebastian Film Festival’s Culinary Zinema section. The 94-minute film was produced by Josette Gauthier (Triplex Films) and Annette Clarke (NFB), and is distributed by the NFB (Canada) and Seville International (international sales).

About the filmmaker

Montreal-based Peter Svatek has written and directed both documentary and fiction films. He is the co-founder (with Josette Gauthier) of the 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).

About Food for Soul

Food for Soul is a non-profit organization, founded by Massimo Bottura, that empowers communities to fight food waste through social inclusion. Bottura and his wife, Lara Gilmore, created Food for Soul to open more refettorios around the world. http://www.foodforsoul.it/


Associated Links

Phi Films
Massimo Bottura
Seville International
Food for Soul

Media Relations

  • 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.