Hurricane Dorian, Sept 2019
World Central Kitchen
Following the debut of Rebuilding Paradise at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, National Geographic Documentary Films announced today its next feature project from acclaimed director Ron Howard, producer Brian Grazer and Imagine Documentaries. The upcoming documentary will chronicle the globally renowned chef and humanitarian José Andrés and his legendary nonprofit, World Central Kitchen, as they rebuild nations in the wake of disaster, providing healthy food to those affected. Joining Grazer and Howard as producers is Imagine Documentaries’ Sara Bernstein and Justin Wilkes. The film will be executive produced by Imagine Entertainment’s Michael Rosenberg and Louisa Velis, World Central Kitchen’s Nate Mook and Richard Wolffe, and National Geographic Documentary Films’ Carolyn Bernstein and Ryan Harrington.
As the world’s most prominent food-focused first responders, Andrés and the World Central Kitchen team have snapped into action, combatting hunger in the wake of crisis by serving over 16 million meals to date. Most recently, the organization has mobilized to bring healthy, nourishing food to those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, fighting on the front lines globally to deliver meals to quarantined cruise ship passengers, school children, medical professionals, the elderly and the most vulnerable through the #ChefsforAmerica program, which is now serving more than 100,000 meals every day across the United States and in Spain.
Featuring exclusive access to World Central Kitchen’s initiatives and archives, the documentary will follow Andrés and his team around the globe as they address the increasing environmental and humanitarian crises that devastate our world the best way they know how: through food. The film will take an in-depth look at World Central Kitchen’s collaborations with local chefs to feed affected people and first responders, which has instilled an extraordinary sense of hope in these communities. From the front lines of a crisis to the backrooms of the kitchen, the film will examine the restoration of community and the activation of change, one meal at a time.
Serving people a plate of fresh food after a disaster is more than just about calories to fill them up. A hot meal is comfort, dignity, hope — a sign that someone cares and that tomorrow will be better. From Puerto Rico to the Bahamas to Mozambique, I’ve seen how important quick action and constant adaptation are to reach communities in need with the urgency of now. I’m excited to work with National Geographic, along with Ron and the Imagine team, to tell World Central Kitchen’s story and show how powerful food is in the fight to heal people and the planet.
When we first started shooting Rebuilding Paradise, I was amazed to see the immediate impact that José and the World Central Kitchen team had on the citizens of Paradise, California, in the aftermath of the crippling fires that destroyed their town. And now, following him as he helps those most in need during this pandemic, I realized that the work he’s doing around the world is one of the most critical and oftentimes overlooked necessities in disaster relief. I’m honored to share his mission with audiences around the world.
Ron Howard, director
We are delighted to continue our successful partnership with Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and the ferociously talented team at Imagine Documentaries, who share our passion for impactful and authentic storytelling. We look forward to inspiring and energizing audiences around the world as we turn the lens on José Andrés and World Central Kitchen’s innovative, compassionate and transformative humanitarian efforts.
Carolyn Bernstein, executive vice president of global scripted content and documentary films for National Geographic
The untitled film on José Andrés and World Central Kitchen is produced for National Geographic Documentary Films by Imagine Documentaries.
National Geographic Documentary Films previously released the Academy Award-, BAFTA- and seven-time Emmy Award-winning film Free Solo; the Sundance Audience Award winner Science Fair; Emmy winners LA 92 and Jane, both of which were included in the top 15 documentaries considered for an Academy Award in 2017; and Dupont Award winner Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS. The banner’s latest film, The Cave, from director Feras Fayyad, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
About National Geographic Documentary Films
National Geographic Documentary Films is committed to bringing the world premium feature documentaries that cover timely, provocative and globally relevant stories from the very best documentary filmmakers in the world. National Geographic Documentary Films is a division of National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between Disney and the National Geographic Society. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 132 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27% of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
About Imagine Documentaries
Imagine Documentaries was formed in 2018 by Imagine Entertainment Chairmen Brian Grazer and Ron Howard with a focus on developing and producing premium feature documentaries and non-scripted television. Based out of New York, Imagine Docs is run by Academy Award-nominated and multiple Emmy and Peabody Award-winning producers Justin Wilkes and Sara Bernstein. The division expands on Imagine’s rich history in the documentary space, which includes the hit documentary series Mars and Breakthrough (Nat Geo) as well as the Ron Howard-directed films Jay-Z’s “Made in America,” “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years” (2017 Grammy winner for Best Music Film) and “Pavarotti.” Recently released films include “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band” (Magnolia Pictures) and “D Wade: Life Unexpected” (ESPN Films). Upcoming projects include the 2020 Sundance documentary feature Rebuilding Paradise (Nat Geo); “Dads” (Apple+); “On Pointe” (Disney+); “Supervillain: The Rise and Fall of Tekashi 6ix9ine” (Showtime); “Gossip With Cindy Adams” (Showtime); a definitive documentary on Julia Child (CNN films); a Martin Scorsese-directed documentary on New York’s 1970’s music scene; a feature documentary on musician Louis Armstrong; and the Rory Kennedy docu-project investigating the Boeing 737-Max airplane crashes.
About World Central Kitchen
Founded in 2010 by Chef José Andrés, World Central Kitchen (WCK) uses the power of food to heal and strengthen communities through times of crisis and beyond. WCK has transformed the field of disaster response to help devastated communities recover and establish resilient food systems. Since its founding, WCK has served more than 16 million meals to those impacted by natural disasters and other crises around the world in countries including Albania, The Bahamas, Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Mozambique, Spain, Venezuela, and the United States. Learn more at WCK.org.
Kristin Montalbano, 202-912-3244, firstname.lastname@example.org