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photo © Filmtank 2013

My father Cesar always thought that I would eventually assume responsibility for running his grill restaurant in Ecuador, but at the age of 20, I moved to Germany and became a vegetarian.

Ten years later, when my father phoned me for the first time since I had settled in Germany, he told me that his restaurant was going bust, that he had debts with a number of loan sharks and at the bank, and that he hadn't paid any rent for over two years. I suddenly had the feeling that life in Ecuador, which until recently had seemed so distant, was tangibly close, and that saving this restaurant could be our first joint project.

What began as an absurd debate about opening hours, Excel tables and wholesale market prices, evolved to become a touching family drama with much music and song.

Dario Aguirre was born in 1979 in Ecuador and moved to Germany in 2000. He studied Visual Communication & Media at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg. In addition to his studies, he was involved with TIDE TV and organized workshops and program series in collaboration with ambulart e.V. In 2006, he received a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in recognition of his outstanding academic achievements and extraordinary dedication to social and intercultural issues. A selection of his films includes: LORENZ (short, 2004), MY LAST DAY AS A FICTIVE PERSON (short doc, 2005), BODYFRONT (short doc, 2007), SCHLAFLIED FOR EINEN RÜCKKEHRER (short doc, 2007), CONNECTED BY DRUMS (short doc, 2008), FIVE WAYS TO DARIO (doc, 2009), and CESAR'S GRILL (2013).
Genre Tragicomedy
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2013
Director Dario Aguirre
Screenplay Dario Aguirre
Cinematography Santiago Oviedo
Producer Thomas Tielsch
Co-Producer Franziska Reck
Production Company Filmtank/Hamburg, in co-production with ReckFilm/Zurich
Length 88 min
Format HDCAM, DigiBeta, DCP, color, 1:1.85
Original Version
Subtitled Versions English, German
Festivals Max Opühls Prize Festival Saarbrücken 2013, Cinema de Réel Nyon 2013, Filmfest Hamburg 2013, Vancouver 2013, Cartagena 2014 (Official Competition Documentaries), Thessaloniki Images of the 21st Century 2014
Awards Special Mention Saarbrücken 2013
With backing from BKM, Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, German Federal Film Board, Kuratorium junger deutscher Film, Zürcher Filmstiftung, Succès passage antennes

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