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August 28, 2016

Josh Aronson’s documentary Talent Has Hunger is a celebration of music and the art of teaching. The movie opens a window into the world of the artist and the teacher, the passion and hunger that sustains a young budding musician and the years of sacrifice and practice necessary to become a performing artist. Focusing on four students of master cello teacher Paul Katz of the New England Conservatory, it explores the development of these highly gifted students, and their trials and triumphs over seven formative years.

Lev Mamuya, took up the cello at a tender age, giving his first solo performance at age 5. We see him at the age of 10 when he becomes a student of Katz.




Nicholas Canellakis was inspired to play the cello after he saw Yo Yo Ma on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood on PBS. Like the other musicians, Sebastian Baverstam’s love story with the cello started as a toddler but while he puts tremendous soul into his playing, he struggles with practicing. Emileigh Vandiver whose infectious enthusiasm and joy for learning are thrilling to watch, fulfills her goal of becoming a teacher herself, carrying on the legacy of Paul Katz.  Most inspiring is witnessing Katz‘s sensitivity and discernment in catering to each student’s passion and creativity. A look into his life mostly centers on his relationship with his mentors, one of whom was a disciple of Pablo Casals, and his career as the founding member of the Cleveland Quartet. Behind every great artist, there is certainly a great teacher.

Talent Has Hunger is Aronson’s fourth documentary feature film, along with Bullrider, Orchestra of Exiles, and the Oscar-nominated Sound and Fury. Having made the round of festivals it has a limited run in Los Angeles at Laemmle Theatres on August 29 and 30th. Catch it while you can for it is an uplifting and life-affirming film truly worth seeing.

Watch the trailer here:


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