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Kitchen Documentary ‘Knife Skills’ Scores an Academy Award Nomination

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Anthony Bourdain is a fan

Thomas Lennon’s documentary about a Cleveland restaurant that employs formerly incarcerated individuals, Knife Skills, just received an Academy Award nomination in the category of Documentary Short Subject. This 40-minute film chronicles the opening of Edwins, a French fine-dining establishment that’s staffed by stipend-earning students who are beginning their careers in the restaurant industry after stints in prison.

In the trailer above, several of the kitchen and front of house staffers are introduced with notes about the charges that put them behind bars years ago. The trailer also includes some praise from Anthony Bourdain: “Restaurants are for those of us who don’t, won’t, or can’t fit in elsewhere … Knife Skills is the compelling, funny, heartbreaking and thoroughly human story of one such place.”

The short doc screened at a handful of film festivals last year — and it won the Audience Award at the Traverse City Film Festival — but it’s not currently available to purchase or view on any of the major streaming services. Lennon previously won an Academy Award for his work on the 2007 documentary short The Blood of Yingzhou District.

The 2018 Oscars will air live on Sunday, March 4 at 8:30 p.m. EST on ABC. Check out the trailer for Knife Skills above, and scope the full list of Academy Award nominees here.

Knife Skills [Official]
Edwins Restaurant [Official]
Oscar nominations 2018: the complete list [Vox]