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Held every five years in Warsaw since 1927, the International Chopin Piano Competition is an Olympic-level contest for elite young concert pianists, with the eventual champion crowned only after a grueling gauntlet of multiple performances across several weeks, playing different pieces by Polish composer Frédéric Chopin. Past winners have included piano greats Martha Argerich, Maurizio Pollini, Krystian Zimerman and Yundi Li; even runners-up have gone on to enjoy star careers. Director Jakub Piątek (PRIME TIME) profiles a range of engaging young pianists from around the world as they prepare for and perform in the 2021 competition. All prodigiously talented and passionate about music, their abilities to navigate performance anxiety differ wildly. Some enjoy supportive coaches and parents, others are saddled with harshly critical ones; some seem carefree in their approach to competition, others show mental strain. Piątek's documentary provides great insight into the rigors of professional music performance, showing that it requires not just talent, but also tremendous hard work and fortitude. DIR Jakub Piątek; PROD Maciej Kubicki. Poland/Germany, 2023, color, 91 min. In English, Polish, Mandarin, Slovenian, Russian and Italian with English subtitles. NOT RATED

No AFI Member passes accepted.

91 Minutes

PIANOFORTE (2023) Showtimes

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