Thursday, October 02, 2014

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Ethan Hawke-Directed Documentary on Noted Pianist Gets NYFF Debut

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Actor/director Ethan Hawke was so inspired by piano teacher Seymour Bernstein, he decided to make a documentary about him. NY1's George Whipple filed the following report as part of ongoing coverage of the New York Film Festival.

"Seymour: An Introduction" premiered at the 52nd New York Film Festival.

The documentary is about Seymour Bernstein, a noted pianist who gave up performance to teach. It is directed by Ethan Hawke, who looks on Seymour as a mentor.

"When I was starting in 'Dead Poets Society,' I had a lot of people took care of me, and I have an opportunity, I have a responsibility to give that back," Hawke says.

Seymour had much to teach Hawke.

"His intention was to project, especially to young people, the importance of having a passion for an art form, and that you work hard at that art form not only for the art form, but to learn how to project it into your life," Seymour says.

Both the director and the subject were beyond thrilled to be part of the New York Film Festival.

"It seems like such a good idea to make a documentary about Seymour. I can't believe we already did it!" Hawke says.

"Can you picture how I feel?" Bernstein says. "I've never had a movie made of me. I've led a kind of sheltered, secluded life."

Even a superstar like Ethan or a relatively unknown like Seymour both get a thrill out of making it into the 52nd New York Film Festival.

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