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Knife Skills
Directed by
Thomas Lennon

USA / 2017 / 40
New York Premiere

Screening Times and Venues:
To purchase tickets for this film, go to
SHORTS: Docs 1.

What does it take to build a world-class French restaurant? What if the staff is almost entirely made up of men and women just out of prison? What if most have never cooked or served before, and have barely two months to learn their trade?

Knife Skills follows the hectic launch of Edwin's restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio. In this improbable setting, with its mouthwatering dishes and its arcane French vocabulary, we discover the challenges of men and women finding their way after their release. We come to know three trainees intimately, as well as the restaurant's founder, who is also dogged by his past. They all have something to prove, and all struggle to launch new lives an endeavor as pressured and perilous as the ambitious restaurant launch of which they are a part.

Thomas Lennon's work in documentary film has earned him an Academy Award and three Oscar nominations. He is also the recipient of two duPont-Columbia Awards, two national Emmys, two Peabodys, and two films that premiered at Sundance. Lennon (along with editor Nick August-Perna) recently completed Sacred, which draws on the contributions of more than 40 filmmakers around the world to explore the role of prayer and ritual in daily life. He founded, with Ruby Yang, the China AIDS Media Project; their AIDS awareness messages were seen over a billion times on Chinese television and the Internet, making it probably the most far-reaching AIDS media campaign ever created.
Executive Producer(s): Joan Ganz Cooney, Holly Peterson
Producer(s): Thomas Lennon, Co-Producer: Nick August-Perna
Director(s): Thomas Lennon
Cinematographer(s): Thomas Lennon
Editor(s): Nick August-Perna
Composer(s)/Music: Robert Miller
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