The Birth of Saké

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USA | 2015 | 91 minutes | Erik Shirai

The Yoshida Brewery is one of the last to follow the ancient and time-consuming method of hand-brewing saké. From October to April, a small team of brewers leave their families behind and live communally in order to tend to the alcohol 24/7. With as close an attention to detail as the process itself, this documentary is an absorbing look behind the scenes. Director Erik Shirai scheduled to attend.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

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With as close an attention to detail as the saké-making process itself, this documentary on the creation of Japan’s oldest liquor is an absorbing behind the scenes look at an ancient tradition. The Yoshida Brewery is a small, family-owned establishment that has been making saké for 144 years. From October to April a small team of brewers, ranging in age but all with a shared love for the drink, leave behind their families and live communally at the brewery in order to tend the sake 24/7. Such a commitment is awe-inspiring, and reflective of their obvious passion. Many breweries have moved to automatic and machine-run ways of creating this beloved beverage, and the Yoshida Brewery is one of the only ones left that follow the handmade, tried and true, time-consuming way. Yet saké’s popularity has gone down in recent years, as a result of a younger generation shying away from its stiff taste. This documentary, filmed in a gorgeously cinematic way, explores not only the creation of the alcohol and the artisans behind it, but the conflicts and difficulties this field face every day.

Director Biography
Erik Shirai is a NYC filmmaker working around the world on renowned documentaries and TV shows. Erik has worked as a cameraman on the Emmy award winning TV show No Reservation with Anthony Bourdain and recently his food films were featured at TED conference in NYC. In 2008, Erik launched his own production company Cebu Osani Creative as a foundation for his creative ideals, to create films that are compelling, original and visually cinematic. Erik’s main goal is to produce one-of-a-kind content with integrity and respect.

Sponsored by Delta Air Lines

  • Director: Erik Shirai
  • Principal Cast: Yamamoto Toji, Yasuyuki Yoshida
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2015
  • Running Time: 91 minutes
  • Producer: Masako Tsumura
  • Cinematographers: Erik Shirai
  • Editors: Takeshi Fukunaga, Frederick Shanahan
  • Music: Ken Kaizu
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Tribeca International Film Festival 2015 (Special Jury Mention)
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: Japanese
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: The Film Sales Company