3 items from 2015
The men who labor tirelessly at the 144-year-old Tedorigawa Brewery in northern Japan get a portrait worthy of their devotion in “The Birth of Sake,” a richly immersive documentary that plays like an elegy for a time-honored but slowly vanishing way of life. Steeped in the rhythms of sake production at one of the few Nipponese breweries that still rely on human hands rather than machines, Erik Shirai’s directing debut favors process and routine over personal drama — a fitting enough strategy for a trade whose workers must effectively sacrifice all sense of self in order to create their world-class spirits. More sedate and less crowd-pleasing than “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” to name another classy tribute to an artisanal Japanese tradition, “Sake” should nevertheless go down smoothly with festivals and buyers following its Tribeca premiere.
Every October, a handful of men bid farewell to their family and friends and travel »
- Justin Chang
Ever since Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” and “Parts Unknown” showed that sometimes-dangerous destinations combined with exotic foods could be an Emmy-winning combination, nets have been eager to let chefs guide viewers on adventurous journeys. The latest is Travel Channel’s “Breaking Borders,” which premieres March 15.
Chef: Michael Voltaggio (Ink, Los Angeles)
Premise: The “Top Chef” winner teams with co-host Mariana van Zeller to host a dinner for residents of global hot spots like Palestine, Cambodia and Egypt, who debate their differences over delicious meals.
Strange edibles: tarantula
Scary moment: Getting arrested in Egypt’s Tahrir Square
Avec Eric (Cooking Channel)
Chef: Eric Ripert (Le Bernadin, New York)
Premise: The “Top Chef” judge jumps from PBS to Cooking Channel with a more action-packed edition of his earlier show, travelling to Australia, South Korea and more.
Strange edibles: crocodile tail
Scary moment: Picking daikon near North Korean border
Huang’s World (Vice. »
- Pat Saperstein
With an umbrella theme of Content Without Borders, Natpe 2015 is devoting its opening day to the unscripted side of the TV business.
The day features panels on the state of the industry; a case study of ABC’s “Shark Tank”; and a Pro Pitch event, in which attendees can toss ideas at decision-makers. The centerpiece is a luncheon showcasing the inaugural Reality Breakthrough Awards, honoring shows in competition, docusoap, gameshow, reality and factual categories.
According to Natpe president and CEO Rod Perth, moving the 2015 confab one week earlier made this possible, since it now doesn’t conflict with the Realscreen Summit, a confab for unscripted content in Washington, D.C.
“We finally fixed that, so we no longer compete,” Perth says. “Reality was a segment of the business that we needed to emphasize this year. We needed to design something that was relevant and, more- over, in the case of the awards themselves, »
- Kate O'Hare
3 items from 2015
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