December 12, 2011, 7:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007


The SCA Alumni Screening Series and Area23a invite you and a guest to a special screening of

They Came to Play

Directed by Alex Rotaru
Produced by Lori Miller

Followed by a Q&A with SCA Alumnus Alex Rotaru

7:00 P.M. on Monday, December 12th, 2011

The Ray Stark Family Theatre
George Lucas Building, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007


About They Came to Play

Amateur is just a word when applied to the seventy-five passionate artists competing in the International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs hosted by the Van Cliburn Foundation, held every four years in Fort Worth, Texas. Emotions run high as the individual stories of astonishingly diverse contestants unfold in the background while performances of breathtaking virtuosity hold the stage. Lifelong dreams come true, or not, as They Came to Play captures the beauty, the pain, and the hard-won triumph in this exhilarating, inspiring, and award-winning documentary. It’s a feast for the ears for any music lover -- composers represented include Debussy, Beethoven, Schumann, Schubert, Cimarosa, Glinka, Sgambatti, Barber, Alkan, and more.

Provided courtesy of Area23a. Not rated. Running time: 91 minutes.

To learn more about the film and to view the trailer, click here.

About the Guest

ALEX ROTARU (Director) was born in Bucharest to an actress mother and a playwright father, and started out in the entertainment industry as an award-winning teenage actor in Romania, before falling in love with science. After receiving a Bachelor's in Physics from MIT with highest honors in his class (5.0 GPA and the Eloranta Fellowship for Most Creative Student on Campus), he was inspired by studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, and interrupted his Physics PhD, returning to his first love and earning an MFA in Film/TV Production from USC. He has directed several award-winning documentaries currently in release (Kids with Cameras, and the New York Times Critic's Pick They Came to Play), and will premiere an exciting new doc in 2011 (Shakespeare High, executive produced by Kevin Spacey) while prepping to direct his first scripted feature, which is already financed in part by winning the Romanian Government's Cinema National Competition (CNC). Recipient of a 2006 Christopher Award, Alex lives in Beverly Hills.

About the SCA Alumni Screening Series

The School of Cinematic Arts invites you to an exciting free screening series featuring a dynamic selection of new feature films by SCA alumni and faculty throughout the Fall 2011 semester. All screenings and events will be free of charge and open to the public, although we do ask for an electronic reservation for each screening, which can be made through the website for each individual screening. Many screenings will be overbooked to ensure that capacity is met in the theater. Some screenings will be run from digital sources.

To view the calendar for the SCA Alumni Screening Series, click here.

Check-In & Reservations

This screening is free of charge and open to the general public. Please bring a photo ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 6:30 P.M.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $8.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M or V, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago