About the film:
In this extraordinary tale of love, tragedy, and friendship, a mysterious piano connects two children from opposite sides of the world, leading to a journey of a lifetime in pursuit of truth and the love of music.
Abigail Phillips is an American farm girl who grows up to become a world-renowned pianist. Behind her success there is a secret. When Abigail is ten years old, she stumbles upon a mysterious piano on her father's farm. As the mystery of the piano begins to unravel, its origin is far beyond what anyone could have ever imagined.
"Gift" is a heartwarming tale about friendship, tragedy and the love of music. Children may be born gifted, but the origins of these gifts are often a mystery. Are creative talents passed through our genes, or do early childhood experiences awaken them within us? "Gift" explores this mystery while showing us how precious and delicate life can be.
After her mother's death, Abigail Phillips is raised by her doting father. When she discovers a mysterious piano in the forest, music becomes the biggest passion of Abigail's life, and it quickly becomes apparent that she is a musical prodigy. As she is sent to Paris to begin her career as a pianist, her father starts to investigate the history of the piano in the forest, and it becomes increasingly apparent that Abigail is not the only one whose life has been profoundly affected by the object. A film about creative ambition, the mysteries of talent, and the history of the life of an object, Sunny Zhao's debut feature film is an ambitious story told in a unique fashion. At the centre of the film is the piano itself, through which other characters in past and present sequences are given context. Inspired by Zhao's own experiences and background as a musician, GIFT explores the joys and hardships of developing and nurturing creative talents. Filmed in an atmospheric style, with slow-motion sequences and saturated colours that lend it a dreamlike quality, GIFT is a charming and heartwarming fairytale about the love of music and the pursuit of truth.
From Raindance Film Festival
Created by Emmy Award-winning director Sunny Zhao, GIFT is a film you want to see again and again, not only for its emotional impact and stunning visuals, but for its metaphorical themes that seem to deepen with each viewing. A film based on his original short story and screenplay, GIFT is close to Sunny’s heart and draws on his background as a musician. Trained as a vocalist in China, Sunny was brought up in a music school for gifted children and he knows the joys and hardships of nurturing ones’ creative talent.
As a filmmaker, Sunny has the reputation of telling a story with remarkable image and visuals which reflects in his work as a director and cinematographer. As the founder of a successful boutique production company, Dreams Factory, his understanding of music, artistic skills and creativity, has brought him to a place where he is being recognized for his unique talent. GIFT is his first feature length film.
About Dreams Factory:
Dreams Factory is an award-winning production company based in Richmond, Virginia, which has been known for it's unique style of creative work and the passion for excellence. Dreams Factory is a place where filmmakers and artists come together and create magic for your next project, providing the latest technology and tools needed to make your vision come to life. Dreams Factory has the ability to bring projects from concept to finish, allowing for a closer collaboration between artists, clients and others involved in the often complex, but exciting process.