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Pianomania

Filmmakers : Lilian Franck , Robert Cibis Original score : Matthias Petsche Germany, 2009 PRODUCTION : OVALmedia Berlin GmbH, WILDart Film
93'
German, English English, French

About this film

Synopsis

“The sound doesn’t breathe”, complains pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard – a typical comment for Stefan Knüpfer, chief technician and tuner with Steinway & Sons. Since each piano has its own personality, each piece requires its own timbre and every performance acquires its own temperament. A film about the quest for the perfect sound.

Locarno 2009

Tënk's opinion

This extraordinary and humorous film takes us behind the scenes of the big concert halls. In the world of classical music, every pianist and every piece of music needs the perfectly tuned piano. Following the master tuner Stefan Knüpfer, we dive deep into the mysterious world of sounds, timbres and melodies. Although we meet the stars of the music scene, including Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Lang Lang and Alfred Brendel, the focus always remains with the one person who normally stays in the shadows. We witness the wonder of finding, perfecting and ultimately creating the perfect instrument through an extraordinary ability to translate words into sounds.

Luc-Carolin Ziemann
Curator, author and film educator

Filmmakers

Lilian Franck

Lilian Franck is a German director and producer born in 1971 in Bavaria. She studied at the Baden-Württemberg Filmakademie in Germany and the Fresnoy in France. In 2002, she won the Franco-German Young Journalist Award for the documentary “Demi-chance”. This was her first film co-directed with Robert Cibis. After this, they founded the OVALmedia Production Company. They went on to produce a great many internationally-broadcast television documentaries, especially on the topic of religious fundamentalism (“Jesus Liebt Dich”) and the early psychiatric medication of children (“Les Enfants Psychotropes”). With “Pianomania” in 2009, Franck made her first foray into the world of cinema. This film full of humour about the quest for the perfect sound shows the close collaboration between piano-tuner Stefan Knüpfer and world-renowned pianists. “Pianomania” was released in cinemas in around twenty countries and won several prizes including the Critics’ Week Award at the Locarno International Film Festival.

Robert Cibis

Robert Cibis, born in 1973, studied at the Baden-Württemberg Filmakademie in Germany and then the Femis in Paris. In 2002, he received the Franco-German Young Journalist Award for the documentary “Demi-chance”. This was his first film co-directed with Lilian Franck. After this collaboration, they founded the production company OVAL. Since then, Cibis has been producing scientific films for television, especially about health (including “Le patient qui valait 3 milliards” broadcast on Arte). With “Pianomania” in 2009, Cibis made his first foray into the world of cinema. This film full of humour about the quest for the perfect sound shows the close collaboration between piano-tuner Stefan Knüpfer and world-renowned pianists. “Pianomania” was released in cinemas in around twenty countries and won several prizes including the Critics’ Week Award at the Locarno International Film Festival.