Winner of the 2016 Polly Krakora Award for Artistry in Film!

The 144-year-old Yoshida Saké Brewery does things the old-fashioned way: dedicated artisans work in concert with natural forces — the temperature and humidity of the air, the chemistry of the water, the swirling koji mold that fuels fermentation — to uphold a millennia-old tradition. The craftsmen live a life of monastic focus, sleeping and eating together under the brewery’s roof, but also one of great beauty. Through rich cinematography and sensitive filmmaking, Erik Shirai immerses us in the sensory world of saké, and in the whimsy and warmth of the people who make it.


Directed by Erik Shirai. Produced by Masako Tsumura.

The Birth of Saké

2015 US 94 min
Festival Year: 2016
Types: Documentary
Topic: Global Perspectives, Sustainable Living