Twelve Pianos to Co-Create Culture.

By Lupita Peimbert.

(Culture) – It started as the Sunset Piano Project; a filmmaker following the adventures of Mauro ffortissimo and his passion for pianos, music, and rebellious acts of culture. Dean Mermell and crew followed this man through the coast, sunsets, whales, old buildings, and the streets of San Francisco, documenting the moving act of co-creating subcultures by acting out of the ordinary.

Based on a combination of Sunset Piano, the Piano Project, and Flower Piano, the documentary kept gaining momentum while proving to be quite a task to accomplish; one not immune to restrictions from governmental agencies –all in good faith but I am sure quite annoying.

It took four years, lots of landscapes and staged scenarios, and artistic alliances to fulfilled their dream.  The world premiere of “Twelve Pianos” is ready for the 7th Annual San Francisco Green Film Festival, as the closing film. Lots of anticipation around this documentary that last a little more than an hour.


The first part of it, aside from the marvelous views in San Mateo County and Mauro’s amazing pursuit, didn’t truly capture my attention. But I had attended and written about the Flower Pianos last year at the San Francisco Botanical Garden, and that inspired me to watch a little bit more.

Several minutes into this documentary is when I started seeing more and wishing I could be right there where they were, listening live, experiencing the combined energy from artists and guests. Watching it also reminded me of the San Francisco many have known and are now fearful to loose: the city with a notch for getting highly creatives and innovators together in a way that doesn’t exclude, dismisses or pushes away all the others. Inclusion was San Francisco’s Trademark. Some people fear this term does not longer apply.

And so, the documentary delivers and actually meets this humble self-taught reviewer’s standards: a good film at some points lifts you up and you don’t notice it until the end when you breathe in awe and you are left with a certain feeling when the film ends. A feeling of something, different for everyone, but equal in that it moves you.

By the end of Twelve of Pianos. Something has moved you. And it is not the whales mentioned by ffortissimo at the beginning.

See TWELVE PIANOS. Wednesday, April 26 at Castro Theater at 8:30 pm. Tickets: $15. Buy them at or at the Castro Theater in SF. 

MMG_7690 (1)Lupita Peimbert is a media and communications professional who loves her day job. She also is a bilingual freelance and multimedia professional, and the publisher of Lupitanews.

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Facebook: Lupitanews  Facebook: Lupitanews en Español  | Photo by @@mikegriffphoto

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