Directed by Jonathan Nossiter
Produced by Jonathan Nossiter,
Written by Jonathan Nossiter
Starring Robert Parker,
Distributed by ThinkFilm
Release date(s) 14 May 2004
Running time 135 min
Language English, French
Mondovino (Italian for "World of Wine") is a 2004 documentary film written and directed by American film maker Jonathan Nossiter. It was nominated for the 2004 Golden Palm Award and a César Award.
The film explores the impact of globalization on the various wine-producing regions, and the influence of critics like Robert Parker and consultants like Michel Rolland in defining an international style. It pits the ambitions of large, multinational wine producers, in particular Robert Mondavi, against the small, single estate wineries who have traditionally boasted wines with individual character driven by their terroir.
Mondovino was originally intended to be a two month affair as a break between feature projects upon the completion of Nossiter's film Signs & Wonders (2000). The film gave Nossiter a chance to utilize his knowledge as a trained sommelier from his time working at Balthazar in New York as well as an opportunity to visit some of great wine regions of the world.
Mondovino was filmed with a hand held Sony PD-150 digital camcorder over the course of 4 years by Jonathan Nossiter with the assistance of Uruguayan filmmaker Juan Pittaluga and Caribbean photographer Stephanie Pommez for a budget around $400,000. Over 500 hours of original film was shot at locations in seven countries on three continents in five languages (French, Italian, Spanish, English and Portuguese). The footage from the handheld DV was blown up and transferred to 35mm by Tommaso Vergallo.
The film was shot entirely in single camera, about 60% of the time operated by Nossiter with the camera on his hip while he is conversing with the subject. The film features no narration or cutaway shots. The cinematography does have several "intense" zooms, sometimes right up to the subject's eyeballs, which Nossiter explains as a necessary means to keep the handheld camera in focus. (Film Maker Magazine)