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First Run Features to Release Award-Winning Documentary

Begins its U.S. Theatrical Rollout in Boston & Chicago
On June 24 - More Cities to Follow

A smash in Europe and winner of the Golden Gate Award for Best Feature Documentary at the San Francisco International Film Festival, Pianomania comes at last to theaters in the United States.  Directed by Lilian Franck and Robert Cibis, Pianomania takes you into the secret world of sounds – a place where passion and the pursuit of perfection collide with artistic obsession and a little bit of madness.

As Steinway & Sons’ chief technician and Master Tuner in Vienna, Stefan Knüpfe is dedicated to the unusual task of pairing world-class instruments with world-famous pianists. Juggling the demands of the pianist, the piano, and the piece to find the perfect match requires boundless enthusiasm, but also endless patience and nerves of steel. No detail is too small or too inconsequential for Knüpfe, not even the tiniest speck of dust on a piano string.

Tensions run high as performances loom while the pianists adamantly demand that pianos be tuned and re-tuned endlessly. Knüpfer is everywhere, from helping prepare Pierre-Laurent Aimard for a seminal recording of Bach’s works to making sure Lang Lang has a bench sturdy enough to withstand his physical playing style. With a commitment and understanding of sound as powerful as the musicians paired with a rather mad sense of humor, Stefan somehow manages to help them achieve perfection.

Lilian Franck has been producing and directing films for the international market for the past ten years. Her first feature length film was Jesus Loves You. Pianomania is her second. Robert Cibis co-directed Disgustingly Healthy with Michaela Kirst and was awarded the Ekotopfilm 2007 prize. Both also worked on the film Human Capital. They alsoattended the Film Academy in Baden-Württemberg in addition to other European and American film programs.

Preliminary Theatrical Release Schedule
Boston  Landmark’s Kendall Square Opens June 24
Chicago   Gene Siskel Film Center Opens June 24
Seattle Landmark’s Varsity Opens July 15
San Francisco Landmark’s Opera Plaza Opens August 5
Washington, DC Landmark’s E Street Opens August 26
New York TBA TBA
Los Angeles Laemmle Theatres TBA


" Surprising…compelling! Too intriguing and entertaining to be left to the specialists.
A captivating film not just for pianomaniacs!" -Trevor Johnston, Time Out London

" Enthralling!" -The Financial Times (London)

" An excellent film. In keeping with its subject matter, this high-minded documentary has elegance and exactitude...Knüpfer is a thoroughly engaging personality." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian UK

"A delightfully esoteric documentary." -The Telegraph (UK)


93 minutes, English & German w/ English subtitles, 35mm & digital, Stereo, Documentary

Directors: Lilian Franck, Robert Cibis
Producers: Ebba Sinzinger, Vincent Lucassen, Robert Cibis, Lilian Franck
Camera: Jerzy Palacz
Editor: Michelle Barbin
Recording Engineer Dialogue:  Sabine Panossian
Recording Engineers Music: Benedikt David, Ina Nikolow
Sound Design:  Niklas Kammertöns
Mixdown: Ansgar Frerich
Score: Matthias Petsche
Production Companies: OVAL Filmemacher GbR & WILDart FILM
Piano Tuner: Stephan Knüpfer
Pianists: Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Lang Lang, Alfred Brendel,
Till Fellner, Julius Drake, Ian Bostridge, Rudolf Buchbinder
Musik Cabaret Artists: Igudesman & Joo
Sound Engineers:  Christoph Claßen, Tobias Lehmann

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