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The world premiere of the series ‘Nada’, by Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat, will open Culinary Zinema, and ‘La passion de Dodin Bouffant’, by Tran Anh

31 August 2023

Three films and a series will compete for the Culinary Zinema Best Film Award

Four foodie films and a series will make up Culinary Zinema. The section, jointly organised by the San Sebastian Festival and Basque Culinary Center, will be made up of five stories set in gastronomies of Argentina, Germany, China, Peru and France. The world premiere of the Argentine series Nada / Nothing, directed by Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat, will open the Culinary Zinema section, and La passion de Dodin Bouffant / Le Pot au Feu, by Tran Anh Hung, winner of Best Director in Cannes, will bring it to a close. The section will run in competitive fashion once again this year. Four productions will compete for the Culinary Zinema Best Film Award, coming with 10,000 euros for the winning film 

Culinary Zinema, which will also include five themed dinners related to the screenings, was introduced this morning at the LABe (Digital Gastronomy Lab) by the director of Basque Culinary Center, Jose Mari Aizega, and by the director of the San Sebastian Festival, José Luis Rebordinos. 

Nada / Nothing, a fiction mini-series of 5-episodes running for 30 minutes each, will open the section. Directed by Gastón Duprat (Bahía Blanca, Argentina. 1969) and Mariano Cohn (Villa Ballester, Argentina. 1975), the tandem responsible for El ciudadano ilustre (Goya for Best Ibero-American Film, 2016), Todo sobre el asado (Culinary Zinema, 2016) and Competencia Oficial (Official Competition, Perlak, 2021), returns with Nada, the tale of a food critic in dire straits due to the lack of resources and the death of his maid. The series features actors Luis Brandoni and Majo Cabrera, and Robert De Niro as a Special Guest Artist in the latest episode.

Tran Anh Hung (Danan, Vietnam. 1962), who made his debut with The Scent of Green Papaya (Zabaltegi 1993), received the Best Director Award at Cannes for La passion de Dodin Bouffant / The Pot au Feu, the film closing the section. In the movie, set in the late 19th century, Juliette Binoche plays Eugenie, who has cooked during 20 years for the gourmet Dodin (Benoît Magimel), but has never agreed to marrying him. 

In Nan fang nan fang / Back to the South, first feature from the director Xiao Haiping (Hunan, China. 1986), the star of this fiction leaves Beijing, her work and her boyfriend to open a homestay in her hometown, where she cooks for the guests and listens to their stories. 

Mariano Carranza (Lima, Peru. 1989), a producer and director of documentaries known for his work in films and series taking food as their excuse to explore human naïveté, perseverance and creativity, will present Pachacútec, la escuela improbable / Pachacútec, The Improbable School, which will participate out of competition as it is a medium-length film. This non-fiction, produced in collaboration with the chef Gastón Acurio, tells the tale of three Peruvian chefs who found the road to success in their profession thanks to a school in a poverty-stricken area of Lima.

The other documentary in the section is She Chef, from directors Melanie Liebheit (Münster, Germany. 1973) and Gereon Wetzel (Bonn, Germany. 1972), who formerly screened El Bulli: Cooking in Progress (2011) in this section. She Chef follows a young chef, Agnes, as she proceeds with her work experience at some of the world’s top restaurants.

Themed dinners

The five films in the section will be accompanied by themed dinners, to take place from 25-19 September at Basque Culinary Center. The joint tickets for the screenings and the dinners will go on sale tomorrow, 1 September, at the price of 80 euros, through the Festival and Kutxabank websites ( and Tickets for the films alone will go on sale from 17 September at a price of 8.50 euros, except in the case of Pachacútec, La escuela improbable / Pachacútec, The Improbable School, a medium-length film, which will therefore cost 4.25 euros. 

Culinary Zinema’s themed dinners will kick off on September 25 following screening of the mini-series Nada. Chef Narda Lepes, named Latin America’s Best Female Chef in 2020 and culinary adviser on the mini-series, will offer a gastronomic experience paying tribute to Argentinian cuisine, making references to well-known figures and restaurants in the Buenos Aires gourmet scene. Diners will also have the opportunity to enjoy a pairing accenting an excellent selection of the country’s wines by Bodega Zuccardi.  

The evening of September 26, linked to the film Back to the South, will take us to a gastronomy committed to the environment and the vegetable world. Martina Puigvert, Head Chef at Les Cols, with two Michelin stars and one Michelin Green star; and Carlos Casillas, owner and head chef at Barro, both former students at the Basque Culinary Center, will offer a foodie proposal based on the territory, roots and authenticity, turning the spotlight on the pure and seasonal nature of garden produce. Mendialdeko Ogia's artisan and organic breads will complete the dinner menu.

The dinner on the 27th, complementing the film Pachacútec, la escuela improbable / Pachacútec, The Improbable School, will be served by the chefs starring in the movie: Alan Larrea, from the restaurant Percado, Gerson Atalaya, from the Sens Restaurant, and Jhosmery Cáceres, from La Mar. The dinner prepared by six hands will reflect their time at the Pachacútec foundation and the professional career of the three young chefs. Coming with an international slant, diners will taste signature dishes from the restaurants they currently work in Lima, Luxembourg and San Francisco, with a clear Peruvian influence.

For the screening of She Chef, on 28 September it will be the turn of the chef and protagonist of the film, Agnes Karrasch. The dishes prepared for the dinner will take diners through the most important moments in her professional career, paying tribute to her time at the Vendome (Bergisch Gladbach), Disfrutar (Barcelona) and Koks (Faroe Islands). Karrasch will also be joined by Poul Andrias, Head Chef and Nino Fjordside, Head of Research and Development, at Koks restaurant (two Michelin stars and one Michelin Green star). 

Finally, on 29 September, chefs Sébastien Zozaya and Fabian Feldmann will close this edition of Culinary Zinema with a period banquet. Taking his inspiration for its design from the film La passion de Dodin Bouffant, Sébastien Zozaya will serve up some of his most characteristic dishes. For his part, chef Fabian Feldmann, from the Michelin-starred L’Impertinent, will create some of the dishes appearing in the film, classics of French cuisine, such as Baked Alaska.   

Culinary Zinema will function as per its regular format of ten diners to a table, encouraging people to engage in discussion and enjoy an even richer experience. The teachers and students of the Basque Culinary Center will participate in all dinners, collaborating both in the kitchen and in the dining room.


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