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On the ribs of the oldest surviving Cello made around fifteen thirty eight its maker inscribed the words “Justice” and “Piety”, yet beneath its civilized surface the world of rare string instruments is a realm of undisclosed alliances, fierce rivalries and denigrating whispers; it’s history of fraud and fakery dates almost to the inception of the violin itself…

The title of the documentary is inspired by the most perfectly preserved Stradivari violin in existence: The Messiah, which is displayed in a glass case at Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum and was donated with the condition that it must never be played again. This film explores a rare and exclusive world. Owning one of Stradivari’s instruments now equates to great power and influence in the Music World. These instruments are so valuable that they are well beyond the capability of even the most famous musicians to own. Yet they have the unique capacity to produce sound so intensely beautiful and powerful that 350 years after their creation they remain one of the only objects in our cultural history to be unrivaled by anything modern technology and science can produce. What right, if any, will musicians have to play these unique instruments in the future?

The film follows the Brit award winning violinist Ruth Palmer as she circumnavigates the globe in search of an instrument to play, and we hear the magic of Stradivari in the hands of the world’s greatest musicians including: Joshua Bell, James Ehnes, Heinrich Schiff, Natalie Clein and Steven Isserlis.


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In Search of the Messiah

Film
Film
Production country: 
United Kingdom
Running time (In minutes): 
50
Theme: 
Art, Dance, Music
Category/Format: 
Documentaries
Student film: 
No
Production year: 
August, 2009
Film Credits
About the Director: 

“At the cutting edge of what you might call visual music”
After studying photography at the Royal College of Art Tim received the prestigious Deutsche Bank Pyramid Award in 2001 to establish himself as a film director.
His first piece of filmmaking The Kreutzer Sonata combined a text by Tolstoy, a sonata by Beethoven and Rambert Dance Company, demonstrating an ambition to break boundaries between visual art forms, music and text.
Tim brings a unique vision to work in all formats including drama, documentary, music videos and promos. He has received commissions from broadcasters including: BBC, ITV and Discovery Channel and his work has been screened at the NFT, Tate Modern, Liverpool Biennale, New Contemporaries and the New Wright Biennale in LA. Tim is also an Associate Lecturer in Visual Communication at Central Saint Martins in London.

Film director: 
Tim Meara
Producer: 
Luisa Pretolani
About the Producer: 
Luisa Pretolani is a writer/director/producer of Italian origin. She has been working with international broadcasters, like Discovery Europe, Al Jazeera International and Rai International for the past fifteen years in the US, England and Italy, producing and directing short and feature length projects dealing with both reality and narrative subjects. Her last independent production is "In Search of the Messiah", directed by Tim Meara and filmed by Fergus Meiklejohn, filmed in three continents chasing the passion and the international market of the mythical Stadivari musical instruments. 5 years in the making, the documentary has just started to travel within the international festival circuit and is looking for distribution. Her other feature doc “Mandy's Choice” about Mandy Garvin, a young American widow who fights to have a child using her dead husband’s sperm, has been acclaimed internationally. Luisa's projects have brought her to produce and direct various documentaries ranging from the Italian Mafia to the state of motherhood in London, from the Iraqi Christian refugees in Syria to the Muslim community’s struggles in the North of Italy. Luisa has a MA in Media Studies from the New School University in New York and a MA in History of the Middle Ages from Bologna University, Italy.
Screenplay: 
Tim Meara
Editing: 
Julian Eguiguren
Film photographer: 
Fergus Meiklejohn
Sound: 
Will Cohen
Music: 
Benjamin Wallfisch
Cast 1: 
Rosemund Pike
Cast 2: 
Ruth Palmer
Cast 3: 
Joshua Bell, James Ehnes , Steven Isserlis
Cast 4: 
Natalie Clein
Cast 5: 
Heinrich Schiff
Film synopsis: 
On the ribs of the oldest surviving Cello made around fifteen thirty eight its maker inscribed the words “Justice” and “Piety”, yet beneath its civilized surface the world of rare string instruments is a realm of undisclosed alliances, fierce rivalries and denigrating whispers; it’s history of fraud and fakery dates almost to the inception of the violin itself… The title of the documentary is inspired by the most perfectly preserved Stradivari violin in existence: The Messiah, which is displayed in a glass case at Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum and was donated with the condition that it must never be played again. This film explores a rare and exclusive world. Owning one of Stradivari’s instruments now equates to great power and influence in the Music World. These instruments are so valuable that they are well beyond the capability of even the most famous musicians to own. Yet they have the unique capacity to produce sound so intensely beautiful and powerful that 350 years after their creation they remain one of the only objects in our cultural history to be unrivalled by anything modern technology and science can produce. What right, if any, will musicians have to play these unique instruments in the future? The film follows the Brit award winning violinist Ruth Palmer as she circumnavigates the globe in search of an instrument to play, and we hear the magic of Stradivari in the hands of the world’s greatest musicians including: Joshua Bell, James Ehnes, Heinrich Schiff, Natalie Clein and Steven Isserlis.
Budget
Budget Range: 
Between $100 000 and $10 000
Actual Budget: 
£50.000
Technical infos
Technical infos
Original Film Format: 
DVCAM
Film Sound: 
Other
Video master available ?: 
Yes
Video Type: 
HD
Number of reels: 
1
Festival Selection, Awards...
Festival selection, awards or citation already received and other comments... :
Already selected in a Festival?: 
Yes
Festival selections: 

Leeds Film Festival, November 2009

Film distribution
Email: 
Publicity Infos
Trailer availble: 
yes
0
Your rating: None

Comments (3)

trailer

Hi
upload the trailer (create content/video)
selct the relevant festivals that accept direct submission in one click from yourfilm entry.
Browse them at this link
http://www.fest21.com/en/festivals?filter0=&filter1=&filter2=**ALL**&fil...
and click submit

The editor

"In Search of the Messiah" - TRAILER

Looking for festival screening doc on music

Hello I'm interested in submitting my latest production "In Search of the Messiah" to film festival screening docs on music... any suggestions?

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About luisapretolani

Pretolani Luisa
(PAHNI Production)

London

United Kingdom



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