Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020
Laura Gabbert '85 is a documentary director whose critically acclaimed films deploy full measures of humor and drama to unflinchingly put a human face on such difficult social issues as aging ("Sunset Story"), the environment ("No Impact Man") and AIDS ("The Healers of 400 Parnassus").
In her latest documentary, "Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles," Gabbert follows chef Yotam Ottolenghi on his quest to bring the sumptuous art and decadence of Versailles to life in cake form at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She was also director on the Netflix show "Ugly Delicious" and directed "Monument | Monumento," a short film about a unique spot on the US-Mexico border.
"City of Gold," Gabbert's 2015 documentary about Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer Jonathan Gold was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and a SXSW Gamechanger Award.
Gabbert received her undergraduate degree from Connecticut College and her MFA from UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. In 2001, she received the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television's Distinguished Alumni Award. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and has served on many committees and panels including the Independent Spirit Awards, the IDA Awards, the San Francisco Film Festival Documentary Jury and the Cinema Eye Awards.
In her Breakfast at Blake presentation, Gabbert shared and discussed clips from some of her documentaries, including a sneak peek of a production that explores the impact of COVID-19 on the American food supply chain.