"The Birth of Saké" (excerpt from feature documentary)

(We are submitting the film, but for now, we have the trailer. I will have to send you the screener separately.)

In a world where most mass produced goods are heavily automated, a small group of manual laborers must brave unusual working conditions to preserve a 2000-year-old tradition that we have come to know as saké.

The Birth of Saké is a cinematic documentary that reveals the story of passionate saké-makers and what it takes to make world-class saké at Yoshida Brewery, a 144-year-old family-owned small brewery in northern Japan.

The workers at Yoshida Brewery are an eclectic cast of characters, ranging from 20 to 70 years old. As a vital part of this cast that must live and work for a six-month period through the brutal winter, charismatic veteran brewmaster Yamamoto (65) and the brewery’s sixth-generation heir, Yasuyuki Yoshida (27), are keepers of this tradition, and are the main characters who bring the narrative forward.

Currently, stiff competition and the eventual retirement of experienced workers intensify the pressure of preserving quality of taste, tradition and brand reputation for Yoshida Brewery. Surrounded by 1,000 competitors, Yoshida must surface as a worthy contender in a market overrun by choices. While the narrative follows the brewery’s energy and ambition to survive, the characters remain central to the storytelling. As artisans who must dedicate their whole lives to the making of this world-class saké, their private sacrifices are often sizable and unseen.