This is a story which has fascinated me since I first saw David HELFGOTT performing in 1986. I had seen a tiny newspaper story about David, who was appearing in concert that night. I felt it was something really important and that I had to go and see him. I wasnít quite sure what to expect, but when David sat down and started to play he quite simply transported the room and I was utterly captivated. After the concert I went to see David and Gillian and told them that I was a filmmaker and would love to make a film based on Davidís life.

They, of course, said:" Well, who the hell are you?". It took a year for me to create a relationship of trust and goodwill with them but I persevered because I thought it was wonderful that someone could go through a very tortuous and quite chaotic life and come out the other side in this remarkable relationship, very eccentric but still a brilliant performer. In that contradiction I felt lay a marvellous story.  Moreover, as a character David is a person who is not driven by a need to control events, and yet who paradoxically has the power to stop the world in its tracks.
  Piano ManI wrote the first draft of the script myself in the late 80s and it wasnít until 1990, after another two or three drafts, that I asked Jan SARDI, who had been my script editor on SEBASTIAN AND THE SPARROW to come in and work with me. He brought enormous skill and talent to bear. SHINE is a story about the power of love to both destroy and redeem. It is the emotional current which underscores the drama, with the film exploring areas of human experience that we are all touched by. I believe that an audience wants to be taken on an emotional journey and thatís what I attempted to do. Ultimately this is a story of a winner, an unlikely hero who nonetheless achieves the one thing we all desire: he finds his own place in the world and someone with whom to share life, love and music. His story is very uplifting-and utterly compelling.


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