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Documentary About Instrument Repair Wins Oscar

"The Last Repair Shop" was given the honor of Best Documentary Short Film at last night's award ceremony

This year's Oscars concluded last night in Los Angeles, California. Showcasing the craftspeople dedicated to repairing instruments for school children in LA, “The Last Repair Shop,” was awarded "Best Documentary Short Film."

Directed by Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers and co-distributed by L.A. Times Studios and Searchlight, the 40-minute documentary follows four instrument repairers and shops — from pianos, strings, brass, and wind instruments — in their work for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) music instrument repair program.

Founded in 1959, it is one of the last of these programs in the U.S.The initiative has tasked twelve craftspeople with repairing the entire district's instruments. The four craftspeople highlighted in the film – Dana Atkinson, Duane Michaels, Paty Moreno, and Steve Bagmanyan – oversee the maintenance of over 80,000 instruments.

In his Oscar acceptance speech, co-director Kris Bowers said, "The Last Repair Shop is about the heroes in our schools who often go unsung, unthanked and unseen. Tonight, you are sung, you are thanked and you are seen."

He went on to say, "Music education isn’t just about creating incredible musicians – it’s about creating incredible human beings."

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