Rock Baijnauth hopped from coffee shop to coffee shop across Los Angeles searching for the perfect brew to drink while writing his screenplays – and it soon inspired his documentary Barista, a film about the surreal world of coffee competitions.
Baijnauth (BA 2001 NEW) had planned to make a movie focusing on the craft-coffee movement in Los Angeles, but in the process he discovered the fascinating subculture of barista competitions – which showcase everything from stunning latte art and bacon-fat mochas to the use of liquid nitrogen to make ice cream for an affogato.
The documentary follows five rising stars of the coffee world, highlighting both their craftsmanship and personal stories. Barista (Samuel Goldwyn Films) has had theatrical runs across Los Angeles, New York, Seattle and Austin, and can be purchased on iTunes or Amazon. “The movie is more about passion than it is about coffee,” says Baijnauth, a cinema studies graduate who directed The Pirate Tapes, which screened on HBO in the United States. “There isn’t a lot of money in the work, but these baristas devote their lives to mastering their craft – and the coffee they produce isn’t purely functional. It’s art.”
Watch a trailer for Barista
Fighting for Justice
In her latest documentary, filmmaker Nisha Pahuja tackles a most difficult topic – sexual assault
Rogers Foundation Gives $90 Million to Usher in New Era in Cardiac Care
Gift will enable the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research to expand its research into heart failure – and save lives
Solving a Climate Puzzle, One Tree Ring at a Time
A natural archive reveals how Canada’s arctic climate has changed over the past 1,000 years