(Screens at #ocanfilmfest2019 on Nov 2 at 8pm – details & tickets)
Nose to Tail stars Aaron Abrams (Hannibal, Blindspot) as a talented but abrasive chef struggling mightily with his personal demons and the relentless pressures of running a high-end restaurant in downtown Toronto. Over the course of one increasingly frantic day and night, he faces a rash of private trials and professional tribulations in a desperate bid to beat the odds and save the business that he’s sacrificed virtually everything in his life to build.
Jesse Zigelstein was born in Toronto. He studied film at York University and UCLA. Nose to Tail is his first feature.
What inspired your film?
The film was inspired by my longstanding fascination with chefs and other restaurant professionals. I especially admire their work ethic and commitment to craft, which are all the more remarkable given the inherent difficulties of achieving sustained success in such a cutthroat and competitive field. The fact that almost all restaurants are doomed to fail at some point lends the whole endeavour a pathos that greatly appeals to me. Also, I’ve always thought that the fast pace, volatility, constant pressure, and frequent conflicts that are common to the milieu would make for an intense and gripping drama.
What was the biggest challenge in making your film?
The biggest challenge in making an independent film is raising the money.
What was the best part of the experience for you?
The best part of the experience was seeing the cast and crew really come together in a collective effort to get the production done on a tight schedule and under often adverse conditions.
What advice would you give aspiring filmmakers?
Don’t let the bastards get you down.
What’s next for you?
We’re wrapping up our festival run this fall with a bunch of events at venues across North America while attempting to secure some forms of wider distribution for the film in Canada and the U.S. Beyond that, who can say?