Stranger Things is still clearly a very big deal, but in between seasons, Noah Schnapp is branching out and tackling other projects, and in this particular case, it’s a project that could inspire young moviegoers to both take up cooking and use food to bring people together. He leads Fernando Grostein Andrade‘s directorial debut Abe as the title character. He’s got an Israeli mother and a Palestinian father, and the two are often at odds when it comes to which religion and culture should take priority in Abe’s upbringing. Meanwhile, Abe is happy to tap into both when pursuing his passion – cooking. Eager to learn the ins and outs of working in a professional kitchen, Abe ditches the kids’ cooking class his parents enroll him in and instead, starts secretly training with a Brazilian chef who believes “mixing flavors can bring people together.”
With Abe celebrating its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, Schnapp and Andrade spent a little time at the Collider Studio in Park City to talk about the inspiration for the film, the cooking basics Schnapp needed to learn for the role, and they do their very best to encourage me (a terrible cook) to attempt to cook a chicken. You can catch all of that, Andrade’s acai bowl warning, and a delightful pea milk discussion in the video interview at the top of this article. And if you’re looking for a breakdown of this entire conversation, you can find that below.
I’d also like to take a moment to give special thanks to our Collider Studio partner, the all new 2020 Kia Telluride, which was transporting filmmakers to our studio in celebration of the debut of the all new model, Kia’s first eight-passenger SUV that is several inches longer and wider than the brand’s award-winning Sorento.
Libations were also flowing at the Collider Studio with parties hosted by LIFEWTR, Tequila Comisario, Sensi Tuscany Wines, Blue Moon Belgian White and Dragonfly Coffee Roasters. Food during the parties was provided by Greene St. Kitchen of Palms Casino Resort lead by Chef Du Cuisine Lanny Chin. Brand partners active during the day included mou, a luxury footwear and accessories line, and The Wild Immersion endorsed by Jane Goodall who was on-site with the world’s first “virtual reserve.”
Noah Schnapp & Fernando Grostein Andrade:
- Andrade on why he felt the need to tell this specific story.
- Andrade on what exactly “coexistence through gastronomy” means.
- The cooking basics Schnapp had to learn to prep for Abe.
- Schnapp gives me cooking pointers.
- In the spirit of Abe, which two cuisines would Schnapp want to blend together?
- What food do they wish were sold at movie theater concession stands?
- Andrade gives a warning about Acai bowls.
- What are the snacks they have to have on them while promoting Abe at Sundance?
- Andrade introduced us to “pea milk.”
- Andrade about going from a YouTuber covering Sundance to debuting his first feature at the festival.
- Schnapp on his experience at the Sundance Lab and having lunch with Robert Redford.
- Did Schnapp get any tips for his very first Sundance Film Festival?
- Why they’re thrilled to debut Abe at Sundance in the kids’ category.
Here’s the official Sundance synopsis for Abe:
Finding one’s identity is a challenge everyone faces, but few have the pressure that 12-year-old Abe feels as the son of an Israeli mother and Palestinian father. Though his parents have raised him in a secular household, both sets of grandparents insist he chooses between being Jewish or Muslim. Thankfully, Abe has a passion for food that allows him some escape from the escalating family tensions that are a reflection of the generations-old conflict between Israel and Palestine. While exploring Brooklyn to discover new foods, he meets Chico, a Brazilian chef who believes “mixing flavors can bring people together.” Chico teaches Abe not only the inner workings of a professional kitchen but how to blend flavors with delicious results. Abe uses his newfound cooking skills to plan a Thanksgiving feast that celebrates his diverse heritage, with the hope of unifying his family.