Twelve Pianos to Co-Create Culture

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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 on gaining momentum while proving that bringing pianos to different locations was quite a task to accomplish; one not immune to restrictions from governmental agencies –all in good faith and necessary but I am sure quite annoying.

It took four years, lots of landscapes and staged scenarios, and artistic alliances to fulfill 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 lasts a little more than an hour.

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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 since I had attended and written about the Flower Pianos last year at the San Francisco Botanical Garden, I was inspired to watch a little bit more before turning off my computer screen.

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Several minutes into this documentary is when I started seeing more of this amazing project 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 lose: the city with a notch for getting highly creatives and innovators together in a way that doesn’t exclude nor dismisses and definitely does not push away all the others.

Inclusion was San Francisco’s trademark. Some people fear this term does not longer apply.

The documentary delivers and actually meets my 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 feeling moves you and it makes you think, be aware, and be awakened.

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

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


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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.

If you enjoyed reading this story, please share it on your social media pages and tag @Lupitanews.
Facebook: Lupitanews  Facebook: Lupitanews en Español  | Photo by @@mikegriffphoto

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