‘The Last Repair Shop’ wins Oscar for best documentary short


LOS ANGELES — Anyone who’s ever played an instrument knows how life-changing music can be. A dozen people in the nation’s second-largest school district who work tirelessly to keep the melodies playing for students are at the center of “The Last Repair Shop,” which won the Oscar for documentary short Sunday at the Academy Awards.

“The Last Repair Shop is about the heroes in our schools who often go unsung, unthanked and unseen. Tonight, you are sung, you are thanked, and you are seen,” said co-director Kris Bowers in his acceptance speech.

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“On The Red Carpet’s” Fashion Expert Roshumba Williams took violinist Porche Brinker out shopping for her beautiful baby blue Oscars gown.

“The Last Repair Shop” takes the audience inside a workshop that may look unassuming on the outside, but where miracles happen inside.

The brilliant technicians bring broken instruments back to life for thousands of students in the Los Angeles Unified School District, one of the only districts in the country to supply musical equipment to students free of charge.

This was Bowers’ first Oscar win, and the second Oscar for co-director Ben Proudfoot.

“John Williams inspired me to become a composer. He went to L.A. public schools. I went to L.A. public schools,” Bowers said. “Music education isn’t just about creating incredible musicians. It’s about creating incredible humans.”

Young stars from “The Last Repair Shop,” a best documentary short film nominee, speak to George Pennacchio on the Oscars red carpet.

“This is not just a musical instrument repair shop. When an instrument breaks, there’s a student without an instrument. No, no, no. Not in our city,” said Steve Bagmanyan, piano tuner and supervisor of the repair shop in previous interviews.

For the co-directors, the film was a labor of love.

“It was an emotional and moving experience just to bear testimony to all the love that goes into these instruments,” Proudfoot said.

“Steve actually tuned the pianos at my middle school and elementary school, so to actually have the chance to meet him and talk to him about it, I feel like really became an immediate connection for me to be a part of it,” Bowers said.

Now that all the Academy Awards have been handed out, it’s time to party!

Watch “Live With Kelly and Mark: After the Oscars,” live from the Oscars stage at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Monday at 9 a.m.

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