Knife Skills

Filmmaker: Thomas Lennon
Runtime: 40 min

What does it take to build a world-class French restaurant? What if the staff is almost entirely men and women just out of prison? What if most have never cooked or served before, and have barely two months to learn their trade?

Knife Skills follows the hectic launch of Edwins restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio. In this improbable setting, with its mouthwatering dishes and its arcane French vocabulary, we discover the challenges of men and women finding their way after their release. We come to know three trainees intimately, as well as the restaurant’s founder, who is also dogged by his past.

They all have something to prove, and all struggle to launch new lives — an endeavor as pressured and perilous as the ambitious restaurant launch of which they are a part.

About the Filmmaker

Veteran filmmaker and journalist Thomas Lennon’s work in documentary film has earned him an Academy Award®, four Academy® nominations, two national Emmys, two duPont-Columbia awards, two George Foster Peabody awards, and two films that premiered at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. Lennon recently completed the feature documentary Sacred, which draws on the contributions of more than 40 filmmakers around the world to explore the role of prayer and ritual in daily life. He founded, with Ruby Yang, the China AIDS Media Project; their AIDS awareness messages were seen over a billion times on Chinese television and the Internet, making it probably the most far-reaching AIDS media campaign ever created.

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