Sounds of Silents, The (Willy Sommerfeld - Der Stummfilmpianist)

Willy SommerfeldHe's treated like a rock star by audiences young and old, adored by film lovers and housewives alike, venerated by scholars and punks: Willy Sommerfeld, born in 1904, is a silent movie pianist—the last of his kind, a living legend with a musical memory reaching back more than a century.

He first performed in the Roaring Twenties. Today, at age 100, he is still going strong – still accompanying film live on piano and spontaneously composing the “soundtrack” to movies.

The Sounds of Silents takes us on an unforgettable journey through the life and music of Willy Sommerfeld and into the world of movies as it was when cinema was born.

Ilona ZiokIlona Ziok was born in Gliwice/Poland and emigrated to England in 1968. She studied in New York, Moscow and Frankfurt from 1975-1982. Also active as a writer and producer, her films include the documentaries: Der zweite Sieg des Jurij Vlasov (1989), Du mein Kazimierz, Shalom (1990), Wo ist die Strasse, wo ist das Haus (1993), Die Reise nach Tunesien: Psychisch Kranke machen Urlaub (1993), Kurt Gerrons Karussell (1999), The Count and the Comrade (Der Junker und der Kommunist, 2003-2005), and The Sounds of Silents (Willy Sommerfeld - Der Stummfilmpianist, 2005).


Genre History, Love Story, Music
Category Documentary Cinema
Year of Production 2005
Director Ilona Ziok
Screenplay Ilona Ziok
Directors of Photography Sergey Jurisditskiy, Wojciech Szepel, Erik Krambeck, Peter Domsch
Editors Dietmar Kraus, Ludmilla Korb-Mann, Peter Domsch
Music by Willy Sommerfeld
Producers  Ilona Ziok,
Manuel Goettsching web
Production Company CV Films/Berlin, in co-production with Vera Vista/Prag, Matti Film/Suelfeld
Principal Cast Willy Sommerfeld, Doris Sommerfeld, Sebastian Sommerfeld, Walter Raffeiner info
Length 80 min
Format color, b&w, BetaCam
Blowup 35 mm, Color, b&w, 1:1.85
Original Version German
Subtitled Versions English, French, Spanish, Czech, Polish, Chinese
Sound Technology Dolby SR
World Sales
CV Films
Myriam Abeillon
Fuggerstr. 24
10777 Berlin
Tel. +49 (0) 236 271 67
Fax +49 (0) 213 59 77

Cinema Distribution supported by:

BKM Der Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien