NEW YORK, NY (June 25, 2020) – IFC Films announced today that it is acquiring U.S. rights to OTTOLENGHI AND THE CAKES OF VERSAILLES, the newest thoughtful and perceptive documentary from industry master Laura Gabbert (IFC Films’ City of Gold, No Impact Man, Sunset Story), produced by Original Productions in association with 50 Degrees Entertainment. IFC Films is planning a release in September 2020.
Director Laura Gabbert handles the subject with the same exacting care that she brought to her previous documentaries No Impact Man, Sunset Story, and the Jonathan Gold portrait City of Gold, which in 2018 Vogue named as one of the 66 best documentaries of all time. OTTOLENGHI AND THE CAKES OF VERSAILLES was produced by Emmy Award winner Steve Robillard (Netflix’s The Confession Tapes, Discovery’s Deadliest Catch) and Mohamed AlRafi (Dumplin’), and executive produced by Paula Manzanedo-Schmit and Original Productions’ Jeff Hasler (JANE, Man On Wire), Ernie Avila, and Brian Lovett.
In the summer of 2018, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art enlists Yotam Ottolenghi, the London-based Isreali chef and celebrated author of cookbooks Jerusalem and Plenty, to organize a food gala inspired by the Met exhibit “Visitors to Versailles.” In preparation for the event, Ottolenghi travels to the Palace of Versailles. At the landmark French site, the famed chef is possessed by a child-like curiosity, as he finds in Versailles a glimpse into the French Monarchy’s decadence.
And so Ottolenghi, with the help of pastry chefs (including “Cronut” maestro Dominique Ansel), positions The Met event as both an expression and critique of excess. Several centuries ago in Versailles, the royal family lived in public to help broadcast the country’s splendor and wealth.. Ottolenghi fast-forwards to the advent of social media and finds a new aristocracy streaming their riches, food, and prosperity. In both eras, we see deep exclusion, longing for community, a patriarchal structure – and the same potential for revolution. OTTOLENGHI AND THE CAKES OF VERSAILLES is an exploration of history to food, craft and gluttony.
Arianna Bocco, EVP of Acquisitions and Productions of IFC Films said, “Laura Gabbert has turned her attention to a decadent food gala at The Met, and as we’ve seen with City of Gold, the result is an emotional experience that makes us learn and think through the lens of culinary art. It was a joy to work with Laura to bring Jonathan Gold to audiences, and we can’t wait to begin another journey with her and the brilliant Yotam Ottolenghi.”
Laura Gabbert, Director added, “There’s really no better company than IFC to release this film during such a unique time. Arianna and her team did thoughtful and innovative work with the release of City of Gold. My partners (Original Productions, 50 Degrees Entertainment) and I couldn’t be more thrilled.”
Mohamed AlRafi, 50 Degrees Entertainment added, “We at 50 Degrees Entertainment are thrilled to have IFC on board for Cakes of Versailles distribution in the U.S. We look forward to the great success this partnership will generate to this latest project we so much enjoyed being part of.’
Jeff Hasler, President of Original Productions added, “This project provided us the perfect opportunity to take OP on a new journey in storytelling and marks our first foray into developing and producing feature length documentaries. Working with talented artists like Laura and Yotam to chronicle this amazing confluence of food and art was a dream come true and represents what our documentary strategy is all about – ambitious ideas, told by great artists. I’m delighted to see our partnership with 50 Degrees Entertainment crowned with such a success.”
The deal for the film was negotiated by IFC Films’ EVP of Acquisitions and Productions Arianna Bocco with Josh Braun of Submarine Entertainment on behalf of the filmmakers.
ABOUT IFC FILMS
Established in 2000 and based in New York City, IFC Films is a leading U.S. distributor of independent film. Its unique distribution model makes independent films available to a national audience by releasing them in theaters as well as on cable’s Video On Demand (VOD) and digital platforms.
Upcoming releases include THE TRUTH directed by Kore-eda Hirokazu and Shannon Murphy’s BABYTEETH. Some of the company’s successes over the years have included BOYHOOD, THE DEATH OF STALIN, FRANCES HA, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, THE BABADOOK, TOUCHING THE VOID, 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS, CHE, SUMMER HOURS, ANTICHRIST, IN THE LOOP, JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK, TINY FURNITURE, and CARLOS. IFC Films has worked with established and breakout filmmakers, including Steven Soderbergh, Gus Van Sant, Spike Lee, Richard Linklater, Miranda July, Lars Von Trier, Gaspar Noé, Todd Solondz, Cristian Mungiu, Susanne Bier, Olivier Assayas, Jim McKay, Larry Fessenden, Paul Dano, Gregg Araki, Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol, Abdellatif Kechiche, Kore-eda Hirokazu, Abbas Kiarostami, Alfonso Cuaron, Noah Baumbach, Lena Dunham, Ethan Hawke and many more. IFC Films is a sister label to Sundance Selects and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc.