Screening Room

MIPCOM Picks 2009 – Miracle in a Box

Leone McGowan was a lover of the piano for most of her life, so much so that she gave free lessons to children. Upon drawing up her will in 1992, she decided to bequeath a beloved Steinway to her alma mater, Berkeley University. But the bequest came with two conditions: first, the piano was not to be given to the school, but 'held' for her and then given to a worthy student. Secondly, the piano needed to be fixed up... considerably.
September 30, 2009


Leone McGowan was a lover of the piano for most of her life, so much so that she gave free lessons to children. Upon drawing up her will in 1992, she decided to bequeath a beloved Steinway to her alma mater, Berkeley University. But the bequest came with two conditions: first, the piano was not to be given to the school, but ‘held’ for her and then given to a worthy student. Secondly, the piano needed to be fixed up… considerably. Narrated by acclaimed actor John Lithgow, this warm and uplifting film tells the stories of McGowan, the process of finding the right student for the piano via the First Berkeley Piano Competition, and the artisans that breathed new life into the aged instrument.

Partners: Bridge Pin Productions, distributed through PBS International
Length: 1 x 60 minutes
Wrapping: September 2009
Rights available: Worldwide

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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