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Rhythm Is It!

Rhythm Is It!
Scene from "Rhythm Is It!" (photo © BOOMTOWNMEDIA)

Berlin, January 2003. In a former bus depot something amazing is happening. 250 pupils from 25 nations are dancing to Stravinsky's Sacre du Printemps, which they have rehearsed for nearly three months, trained by the British choreographer Royston Maldoom and accompanied by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under its chief conductor, Sir Simon Rattle.

Through the eyes of three young protagonists we take part in the project's development, its ups and downs, doubts and enthusiasms, uncertainties and renewals of self-confidence. It is a fascinating journey into new, undreamed-of worlds and reveals surprising facets of the protagonists' personalities. Recorded with a breathtaking fidelity of sound, the film documents the stages of the Sacre project and offers deep insights into the rehearsals of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Rhythm is it! is a delightful and moving record of the fascination of music, of the need for safeguarding education and training, of passion, diligence, love, esteem and zest.


Thomas Grube was born in 1971 in Berlin. After studying Political Science and Eastern European Studies, he studied Film at the \"Konrad Wolf\" Academy of Film & Television (HFF/B) in Potsdam-Babelsberg. In 1993, he founded Memphis Productions and produced and directed shorts films and documentaries. In 1997, together with Uwe Dierks, he founded the directors\' label grube&dierks. In 1999, he co-founded Boomtown Media. A selection of his films includes: Love is the Message (1995), Life in a Soap Opera (1999/2000), Jewish Museum Berlin (2000), Karl Weschke - Myth of a Life (2000), Warsaw Express (2000), Verdi\'s Falstaff (2001), Rhythm Is It! (2004), and Trip to Asia (2008).

Enrique Sánchez Lansch was born in 1963 in Gijón/Spain. After extensive education in Theater and Music, he starting working for television in 1986. In 1988, he started writing and directing documentaries about classical music, opera and ballet. In 1996, he started working at Grundy UFA, first as a creative producer, then as supervising producers responsible for all daily drama activities. A selection of his films includes: Hunger nach Schoenheit (1989), the series Music at Night (1989) and Spanish Dances (1993), Le nozze di Figaro (1993), Winterreise (1994), New Voices (1995), Don Giovanni (1996), Piano En Double (2003), and Rhythm Is It! (2004).
Genre Art, Dance, Music
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2004
Directors Thomas Grube, Enrique Sánchez Lansch
Cinematography Marcus Winterbauer, René Dame
Dirk Grau, Martin Hoffmann
Igor Stravinsky, Karim Sebastian Elias
Cast Berlin Philharmonic, Sir Simon Rattle, Royston Maldoom, Susannah Broughton
Producer Uwe Dierks
Production Company Boomtown Media/Berlin, in co-production with cine plus Filmproduktion
Length 100 min
Original Version
 English/German
Subtitled Versions English, German
Festivals Berlin 2004, Freiburg Film Forum 2004, Munich Documentary Film Fest 2004, Tribeca 2004, Sydney 2004, Ghent 2004, Edinburgh 2004, Vancouver 2004, Calgary 2004, Valladolid 2004, Canberra 2004, AFI Los Angeles 2004, Gijon 2004, Helsinki 2004, Osaka 2005, Moscow 2006, Cairo 2006, Planete Doc Review Warsaw 2010
Awards Audience Award Freiburg 2004, Bavarian Film Award 2004 (Best Documentary), German Film Award 2005 for Best Documentary Feature, Best Editing
With backing from Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg
German Distributor Piffl Medien/Berlin

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