Featured Filmmaker: Joseph Levy, Producer of “Spinning Plates”


Joseph Levy, director of "Spinning Plates"

Joseph Levy, director of “Spinning Plates”

Another of this year’s visiting featured filmmakers is Joseph Levy, producer of Spinning Plates, a remarkable documentary featuring three distinctly different restaurants – Michelin’s 7th best in the world, whose chefs surmount unbelievable challenges, a 150-year-old family restaurant in Iowa saved by its community, and a fledgling Mexican restaurant whose owners are doing all they can to survive. The screening takes place tomorrow (Wed., June 12th) at 4pm at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Castle Theater.

The producer behind this film will also be participating in a Filmmakers Panel at the Wailea Marriott on Saturday at 12:30pm.

Read on to learn about what inspired Joseph to bring this film to the big screen, and the challenges he endured in the process. 

Q: How did you get involved in film? Where and when did you start?

A: I was a music composition and film scoring major at the University of Southern California. My freshman year, I just happened to get a job at the Cinema School where a large majority of my friends were enrolled. That summer I went home to Texas and got hired as an AD on a Canon film happened to be shooting in my town. My life just seemed to naturally drift that way and 2 years later I found myself producing a graduate film while taking other film classes and doing an internship at Fox. All as a music major. By that point I knew where I was headed,

Q: What inspired you to create Spinning Plates? 

A: I was inspired to make Spinning Plates for 2 reasons – I wanted to make a film that really showed how much of an emotional medium food can be, and I also wanted to show a very real face of life in food that rarely if not never gets shown on television.

Q: What was the most challenging part of creating this film?

A: The most challenging aspect of making Spinning Plates was the edit. The film really is all about the delicate weave-together of the three restaurants featured. I spent almost 2 months just figuring that out on paper before going to cut the first scene.

Q: What type of experience do you hope the film will bring to viewers?

A: I hope the film will shine a different light on a world most people are familiar with to some degree, and inspire.

Q: What do you think our Maui audiences will most appreciate about your film?

A: Based on previous trips to Maui, I know there is an amazing food culture there. I think this film will resonate on both culinary and emotional levels for foodies and non-foodies alike.

Q: What do you think our Maui audiences will most appreciate about your film?

A: My only prior connection to Maui are family visits and a constant desire to return.

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