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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


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Chronicles the Fifth International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs, hosted by The Van Cliburn Foundation... See more » | Add synopsis »
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A Musical Delight See more (12 total) »


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

USA:91 min


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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
A Musical Delight, 18 February 2009
Author: symphonic_be from United States

This movie is a joy to watch and clearly shows how to live life well no matter what we do for a living. It was well received at both Lincoln Center at Juilliard and at Rockefeller University.

The film brings explores the blessings that music brings us and it lifts us up in unexpected ways. It shows us how the spirit inside of each of us can be reborn and filled with love and passion even when we are in our darkest moment addicted to drugs and having lost everything. And through the human spirit of triumph, music can bring people together and become married and it can even drive them away from each other as result of their differing passion for the subject.

The film also shows us how music brings joy to a man afflicted by aids who soul searches for why he is different. And yet his message is deep for why he is alive while his partner had passed on. The film shows the goodness of this man and how special he is.

The film also shows how the love of music triumphs becoming a fearless force so that nothing can kill the hope, the dreams that one has even if we struggle with our hearing because of cancer.

I, also personally witnessed how the film inspired the audience. When watching the film, I sat next to a former Van Cliburn professional contestant from 40 years ago and the film made him contemplate the thought of playing again after putting down a deep love and career many years ago.

So this film is a passion that does not leave us no matter how life gets in the way. It brings people together the way music does. Its nature is that of music and it inspires us to live life well.

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