If you've ever experienced the heady sensorial heights of the addictively pungent Alba white truffle, you'll know you're on to something special.
The elusive annual delicacy, only found in northern Italy's Piedmont region, remains shrouded in mystery and intrigue. Plucked out of the soil in undulating forests in secret locations surrounding Alba, the sought after tuber commands respect around the world, making it as far as linen-clad tables in far flung fine dining destinations in Hong Kong.
It's a captivating and secret world close up, where a close-knit community safeguard the traditions and celebrations that go with such a delicacy. In fact, so much so, it was almost begging the story be told in the new docu-film by Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw; The Truffle Hunters, recently showcased at the Sundance Film Festival.
The touching film dips into the seasoned "enclave of truffle hunters", or elderly men that seek out the tubers using their trusty and highly trained canine friends." Following the "maddening cycle from the forest floor to the pristine restaurant plate." the film explores the devoted friendships, both four and two-legged, whilst highlighting the ritual that goes into the hunt and hinting at its threat from climate change and old age.
Aside from the beautiful cinematography there's also the unusual opportunity to witness truffle hunting through the eyes of the truffle dog when footage is taken using a "dog cam".
It's a great chance to absorb the human (and canine) world behind a luxury delicacy that commands prices far removed from the world in which they are dug out of the dirt by moonlight in the rugged countryside in northern Italy.
Sony Pictures Classics has now acquired worldwide rights to “The Truffle Hunters” out of the Sundance Film Festival, calling it “one of the freshest, most beautiful films ever. It will be embraced by audiences the world over,” in a statement.
CATEGORY World Cinema Documentary Competition
RUN TIME 84 min
SUBTITLES Yes with English subtitles
COMPANY Go Gigi Go Productions LLC