|The Van Cliburn Foundation and Rockefeller University present on February 11 the premiere of the documentary They Came to Play, by Romanian director Alex Rotaru. The event at Rockefeller University will be hosted by hosted by David Pogue, New York Times columnist. A second screening will take place on February 12 at Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater, followed by a reception. Both events will take place in the presence and with the participation of the filmmakers.
They Came to Play is a feature-length documentary chronicling the passion, pressure and potential surrounding the International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs hosted by The Van Cliburn Foundation, a prestigious event which reunites seventy-five of the world's best amateur pianists, gathered from around the world in Forth Worth, Texas.
Alex Rotaru started out as an award-winning child actor, but subsequently earned his BA in Physiscs from MIT with top honours. Inspired by his stint studying film at the Sorbonne, he interrupted his PhD in Physiscs and enrolled at USC's School of Cinematic Arts, where he earned an MFA in Film Production and starting working in Los Angeles - from development to production and post-production.
His recent accomplishments include receiving a Christopher Award for co-producing, shooting and editing the award-winning PBS's "P.O.V" special The Hobbart Shakespeareans, producing and directing Au/rtistic Kids with Cameras, a documentary about creating genius in children with Asperger's Syndrome; and directing They Came to Play.