There are currently 40 million piano students in China. With many practising up to ten hours a day, pianomania has truly gripped the nation. The film follows three young hopefuls and their dedicated families as they chase their dreams in the ultra- competitive world of piano education. It’s both an intimate portrait of remarkably talented young musicians and a glimpse into the lives of the new Chinese middle class: their aspirations, their sacrifices and their sheer drive to succeed.
Gary Lennon has an M.A. from Durham University, UK, in Modern East Asian Studies and a B.A in History and Politics from University College Dublin. In 2013, Gary attended the Zelig School of Film, Bolzano, EsoDoc programme. His first feature ‘A Doctor’s Sword’ (2014), played in festivals around the world. In 2020, he directed his second feature, ‘Castro’s Spies’, which has won a number of awards and received his second IFTA nomination. ‘Piano Dreams’, set in Shanghai, is his third feature. Richard Hughes is a China-based British director. His feature documentaries, ‘Guiyang Beautiful Flavour Barbecue’ (2000) and ‘New Roads’ (2004) have been shown at film festivals and broadcast worldwide. He has made documentaries for the BBC, Travel Channel, Animal Planet and others.