IFC Films has acquired the U.S. rights to “Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles,” the latest documentary film from “City of Gold” Laura Gabbert.
“Cakes of Versailles” follows the London-based Israeli chef and cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi as he preps to organize a food gala for the Met exhibit “Visitors to Versailles.” In preparation, he travels to the actual Palace of Versailles and is possessed by a child-like curiosity as he gets a glimpse of the French monarchy’s decadence.
IFC Films plans to release “Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles” in September 2020.
The documentary was produced by Steve Robillard and Mohamed AlRafi and executive produced by Paula Manzanedo-Schmit and Original Productions’ Jeff Hasler, Ernie Avila, and Brian Lovett.
Also appearing in the documentary is the mastermind of the “cronut” Dominique Ansel, and together he and Ottolenghi position their 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 described as an exploration of history to food, craft and gluttony.
“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,” Arianna Bocco, EVP of acquisitions and productions of IFC Films said in a statement.
“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,” Gabbert said in a statement.
“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,” Mohamed AlRafi, 50 Degrees Entertainment, said in a statement.
“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,” Jeff Hasler, president of Original Productions said in a statement.
Gabbert is the director of “City of Gold,” which profiled the late Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold. Her previous documentaries are “No Impact Man” and “Sunset Story.”
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.
News of the sale was first reported by Variety.