UPDATE: New information has come to light about this film. Please read our update here.
Yesterday, we scooped the existence of Higher Grounds, a comedic film about the World Barista Championship. The film's creation and release has all been very hush-hush; there's practically no information on the internet about it, save for a screenshot of an invite to a private screening. But Sprudge's investigative reporting unit has been in full swing over the last 24 hours, and can today confirm through multiple sources that yes, in fact, the movie is very real. There is a barista competition comedy and it screened last night in Pasadena.
Our first tip came via a source we're granting anonymity due to ongoing terms of a standard Hollywood legal agreement. This individual tip “spent a summer working on a movie” where “everyone had to sign an NDA.” Between the NDA and the movie still being “untitled” as of yesterday's screening, the dearth of information about Higher Grounds on the internet was starting to make more and more sense.
This same tipster made us aware of an Instagram post by Saoirse-Monica Jackson where the actor is posing on-set with the other stars of the film, with a hashtag in the caption #highergrounds.
The very same Saoirse-Monica Jackson (who is delightful in Derry Girls, btw) retweeted our request for more info on the film.
Eagle-eyed onlookers will note a few things about Jackson's Insta-evidence. First and foremost, those World Barista Championship logos sure look very similar to actual WBC logos. And for very good reason. Speaking on background, a member of World Coffee Events staff confirmed to Sprudge that the makers of the film reached out to them prior to filming. This individual also states that beyond consulting on the trademarks, the WCE was not involved in the film in any way beyond that.
Look closely at Jackson's Instagram post and you'll notice that hanging on rafters are the logos of three companies: Monterosso, Maquay Coffee Machines, and Jones Coffee Roasters. Two of them, Monterosso and Maquay, don't appear to be real. Jones Coffee, though, they are very real, and co-founder Chuck Jones has confirmed to Sprudge that Higher Grounds is happening. “The movie is amazing,” Jones tells Sprudge. “I can’t wait for you and your team to see it.
In short, we can now say with confidence that yes, Higher Grounds exists, that we very much want to see it, and that unsurprisingly, Sally Phillips looks stunning in a dark blue sequined dress. This story is developing…