Production is underway on a new documentary about acclaimed food critic Jonathan Gold, thanks to seed funding from investor and consultant, Jamie Wolf. The currently untitled feature will be directed by Laura Gabbert (NO IMPACT MAN, SUNSET STORY) and produced by Holly Becker (THE SOURCE, ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW) and Braxton Pope (THE CANYONS, THE SOURCE).
Food writer Jonathan Gold rose to prominence at a time when conversations about eating were consumed by high-cuisine haughtiness, or cholesterol-lowering anxiety. In the early nineties, Gold blazed a very different path, unabashedly reveling in the food of ethnic America – the fare of his sprawling, distinctive hometown of Los Angeles – while chronicling his discoveries in the national news. Through his Odyssean quests for Oaxacan grasshopper soup, hand-cut tonkotsu ramen, or unctuous pad-see-ew, he unearthed eateries that other critics would not dare dine in, and birthed an obsessed following of foodies. Soon the rest of the world took notice, too. In 2007, he won a Pulitzer Prize for his prose, the first and only food writer to win the award. “The Untitled Jonathan Gold Documentary” is a portrait that takes us into Gold’s unusual universe to tell the improbable story of a revolution inspired by the pen, but driven by the palate.
“I loved Laura’s film SUNSET STORY,” said Gold. “So when she approached me about making a film using me as a prism through which to look at food as a prism looking at Los Angeles, it sounded like a good idea. And you wouldn’t believe how fetching I look in a burqa.”
Investor Jamie Wolf noted: “I’ve known Jonathan for many years, since we were both much younger, and the paradox of his becoming so well-known and revered in the pursuit of such an idiosyncratic, personal, and obscure interest has fascinated me as it’s evolved. He seems like the ideal guide to the extraordinary multi-facetedness of this indefinable city.”
Time Magazine calls Jonathan Gold “America’s most respected restaurant critic” and Mario Batali describes him as “one of the great gastro-poet laureates and an American national treasure.” Currently the restaurant critic for The Los Angeles Times, he previously wrote for the LA Weekly, California, Los Angeles Magazine, and Gourmet, where he was the first food writer to be nominated for the National Magazine Award in criticism. In addition to his Pulitzer Prize distinction, he has won seven James Beard Awards for his restaurant reviews.
Documentary director Laura Gabbert’s critically-acclaimed films deploy humor and drama to put a human face on difficult social issues such as aging, the environment, and AIDS. Her most recent film, NO IMPACT MAN, premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, played theatrically in more than 30 cities, and aired on Planet Green. Her previous documentary, SUNSET STORY, won awards at the Tribeca, Los Angeles, and Miami Film Festivals. Gabbert also directed a PBS documentary about a San Francisco AIDS clinic titled THE HEALERS OF 400 PARNASSUS.
Holly Becker is a producer and former film executive for SKE Entertainment, IFC Entertainment, and more. Other current projects include Peter Mattei’s thriller titled THE FOLLOWER. With Braxton Pope, she recently produced a documentary called THE SOURCE, which premiered at SXSW 2012, and will be distributed by Drag City and Gravitas Entertainment.
Braxton Pope recently produced the Bret Easton Ellis scripted, Paul Schrader directed THE CANYONS, starring Lindsay Lohan, and executive produced THE SOURCE. He maintains a production deal with Prettybird US.
“The Untitled Jonathan Gold Documentary” is primarily shooting in Los Angeles.