The 2018 Oscar nominations are out, and the nominees include the food film Knife Skills for Best Documentary (Short Subject). Directed by Academy Award winner Thomas Lennon, the film chronicles the opening of a Cleveland restaurant, Edwins Restaurant & Institute, which opened expressly to employ men and women who have been released after serving prison time. Through the experiences of three trainees, Knife Skills deals with the challenges of opening the restaurant with a staff mostly composed of individuals who have not worked in restaurants before, have two months to train, and are restarting their lives.
Like the Doe Fund in New York, Edwins uses food and the restaurant as a means to create opportunities for people who are routinely denied them and the chance to reintegrate into society. Established in 2007 as a nonprofit, the restaurant was opened in 2013, and three years later the 20,000-square-foot campus Edwins Second Chance Life Skills Center opened. According to its website, Edwins graduates 100 students a year.
No screenings for Knife Skills are currently listed on its website, but you can look to its social media for where to see the documentary. Its Twitter account has been sharing tweets about festival screenings, with the latest being the Irvine Film Festival in Costa Mesa, California, on January 25.