Private Project

SELLA's Kitchen

Emerging out of the tragedy of the 7.0 earthquake in Haiti and through the back doors of Boston’s elite restaurant scene. The film follows the culinary journey of Marley (aka S.E.L.L.A.), an at risk teen living in Boston, with both a passion for hip hop and genius for creating food, but lacking the help she needs to overcome some of her life’s tribulations being an orphan and illegally pedaling food as her only means to earn income.

Sella’s current path seems dire, that is until she crosses paths with Napo, a mysterious teacher with a heavy accent, volatile personality and a complicated past. Having lost everything during the earthquake in Haiti and narrowly escaping with his own life, as the only survivor of his family. Now years later, Napo starts a new life in Boston, intent with a passion to introduce the food of his birth country to the masses.

Napo opens up a restaurant, warmly received by many but not to his Dominican neighbors, who harbor a violent resentment rooted in the legacy of racial tension between the two island nations.

Soon “Sella” finds herself involved in a high-stakes, fiery culinary competition to see who will win a highly coveted position in Napo’s restaurant all while facing racial backlash from an unknown assailant.

Combining her love of hip-hop lyricism with her memorization of recipes, the street savvy S.E.L.L.A. finds the mentor she has always wanted while embroiled in a battle with the group of competing and battle-ridden chefs all with their own unique backgrounds that has the potential to change her career - and her life - forever.

  • Ralph Celestin
    Boston to Philly, NBC Climate Project, District C11
  • Ralph Celestin
    Boston to Philly, District C11, The Target
  • Ralph Celestin
    Boston to Philly, NBC The Climate Project
  • Trisha Mondesir
    Key Cast
  • Rebecca Zama
    Key Cast
    "Rebecca Zama"
  • Jo Lee Stewart
    Key Cast
  • Tayla Andre
    Key Cast
  • Jermaine Wiggins
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Coming of Age, Urban, Food, Culinary, HIstorical Drama
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 13, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    75,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Ralph Celestin

Ralph Anthony Celestin is an award winning filmmaker most notably recognized for his directorial debut, critically acclaimed film Boston2Philly, which has screened throughout the entire globe in various highly competitive and noteworthy film festivals such as the PanAfrican Cannes festival in France, the San Francisco Black Film festival and the Roxbury International Film Festival where Ralph received the Kay Bourne Emerging Filmmaker Award.

With an already successful directorial debut in Boston2Philly, which features multiple levels of recognizable celebrities, Ralph has emerged as the east coast’s premiere filmmaker and has positioned himself to truly launch into the next level among Hollywood elites. The list of awards and recognition have begun to pile on just as his recent premiere project ended its run throughout the festival circuit. Awards such as Best Actor at the Las Vegas Black Film Festival, Best Music Score at the Philadelphia Independent Film Awards are just a few noteworthy credits added to Ralph’s growing list of achievements.

Boston2Philly most recently won Best Film at the Motion Picture Association of Haiti awards, the final crowning achievement before distribution on Amazon Prime Video to the US and UK market. As of 2019, Ralph was hired by one of the largest entertainment media conglomerates in the world, NBC Universal Studios. He is currently stationed on the east coast producing large scale projects for cable release. Simultaneously as a Independent filmmaker, Ralph’s sophomore directorial debut project S.E.L.LA’s Kitchen privately premiered June 28th at Northeastern University’s Blackman Theater. The 980 seat theater reached full capacity an hour before showtime.

Known by many as an artist and a visionary, Ralph A. has made it a life mission to constantly strive to express himself through multiple different platforms of which he holds value towards. Many of his works date back to a very young age, first receiving national recognition among the writing community after two poems published in the Young Poets Anthropology, 2006, a publication dedicated to nurturing the beauty, self expression and fun of poetry in young writers.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts in the late 1980’s, Ralph was raised in the town of Arlington, one of the first villages settled by European colonists in 1635 under the name Menotomy, an Algonquian word meaning “swift running water.” The town’s creed/moto is Libertatis Propugnatio Hereditas Avita (Latin) “The Defense of Liberty is Our Ancestral Heritage.”

Ralph with his own very different perspective on how he approaches life and art, whether its film, photography or writing, constantly strives to build a platform where he can display his unique style and passions so that his work can be viewed by the world as both a personal statement and a work of art.

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Director Statement

Food is an expression of art and different cultures. The kitchen is the studio, the pots and pans the instruments, the hands the lyrics and the outcome- Hip Hop. -Ralph A. World

The film itself acts as an enthralling story of the resilience of the human spirit in the face of tragedy, yet also a reminder that family can await us in the most unlikely of places.
Story lines includes elements of core family values, extensive history regarding culinary industry, hip-hop and soul music and functions as a mixture of melodrama, artistic cinema and comedy.