IMDb > They Came to Play (2008)

They Came to Play (2008) More at IMDbPro »

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They Came to Play -- Sometimes, life comes between us and our dreams. And sometimes, we are fortunate enough to be reunited. Multi-award winning THEY CAME TO PLAY focuses on the International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs (hosted by the Van Cliburn Foundation), which gathers together 75 of the world's best amateur pianists for one week of intense competition and camaraderie. Candid interviews offer a glimpse into the lives of the competitors, who come from a wide variety of backgrounds and professions. All have struggled to balance their music and their ordinary lives--some overcoming extraordinary challenges--and now, all hope to make years of dedication pay off in the performance of a lifetime. Overflowing with the talent and enthusiasm of the competitors and with the sound of their spectacular music, THEY CAME TO PLAY reminds us all of the passion that burns within us.
They Came to Play -- Trailer for They Came To Play

Overview

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7.3/10   109 votes »
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Plot:
Chronicles the Fifth International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs, hosted by The Van Cliburn Foundation... See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Doc with Wonderful Music and Quirky Characters See more (12 total) »

Cast

 
Henri Robert Delbeau ... Himself
Mark Fuller ... Himself
Clark Griffith ... Himself
Ken Iisaka ... Himself
Slava Levin ... Himself
Drew Mays ... Himself
Suzanna Perez ... Herself
Richard Rodzinski ... Himself
Esfir Ross ... Herself
Kathy Trafton ... Herself

Directed by
Alex Rotaru 
 
Produced by
Matt Cooper .... executive producer
Lori Miller .... producer
Ronnie Planalp .... executive producer
 
Cinematography by
Brian O'Connell 
Adrian Popescu 
 
Film Editing by
Harrison Engle 
Drew Kilcoin 
 
Production Management
Marie-Hélène Riverain .... production manager
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Olivia Giachino .... assistant camera
Brandon Knieper .... additional cinematography
Philip Pelphrey .... camera operator
 

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  • Runway  post-production services

Additional Details

Runtime:
USA:91 min
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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Doc with Wonderful Music and Quirky Characters, 2 October 2012
Author: Larry Silverstein from United States

Every four years the Van Cliburn Foundation sponsors an amateur piano competition for anyone over 35 years of age. As many documentaries do, it selects several of the competitors, from around the world, and features their personalized stories and how they were led to the competition.

I found the interviews with some of the pianists, who had such diverse backgrounds and individual stories, to be the heart of the film. Most of the competitors had fascinating stories to tell of their lives. Their personalities were quite quirky and I was very absorbed by it all.

The competition starts with 75 invitees, then is whittled down to 25 pianists, and then the six finalists. The camera follows each competitor as they prepare for their performances, how they handle the stress and anxiety.

Finally, you get to hear lots of great piano pieces as they compete.

The pacing of the documentary is well maintained, and I would reco to anyone who enjoys this type of film.

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