Piano to Zanskar


The Story of a Man, a Mountain… and a Piano.

"Hits sweet notes”
The Hollywood Reporter

“Delightfully, disarmingly surreal”

Facing his future in retirement, “sitting in deck chairs and eating lemon drizzle cake”, 65 year old piano tuner, Desmond O'Keeffe, decides instead to take on the most challenging and perilous delivery of his four decade career: transporting a 100 year-old, 80 kilo, Broadwood and Sons upright piano, from bustling London to the remote heart of the Indian Himalayas.

Setting off from his Aladdin’s Cave-like workshop in trendy Camden Town, and enlisting the help of two young and eager apprentices, Desmond’s ambitious destination is a primary school in Lingshed, Zanskar. At 14,000 feet above sea level, it is one of the most isolated settlements in the world.

Aided by a team of local Sherpas, as well as a motley crew of yaks and ponies, Desmond and his trusty assistants are tested to the limit, physically and psychologically, as they cross sheer mountain passes of breath-taking beauty. If successful, the expedition will be the highest piano delivery in the world. More importantly, it will be the ultimate gesture of music’s universal power: to inspire strength and bring joy.

Features an original music score by Werner Herzog collaborator, Ernst Reijseger ('Cave of Forgotten Dreams')

Desmond O’Keeffe (1949 – 2018) – piano tuner, mountain climber and star of Michal Sulima’s critically acclaimed PIANO TO ZANSKAR – has sadly passed away. He will be fondly remembered as one of life’s rare gems.


Trento Film Festival, Italy - In Competition
Docs Against Gravity, Poland - In Competition
Edinburgh International Film Festival, UK - In Competition



86 Minutes




Desmond O'Keeffe
Anna Ray
Harald Hagegard


Michal Sulima


Jarek Kotomski

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