Documentary Short Film: <I>The Last Repair Shop</I>
February 1, 2024

Documentary Short Film: The Last Repair Shop

Searchlight Pictures The Last Repair Shop is now streaming on Disney+ and Hulu. Produced by Breakwater Studios, the film is nominated for an Oscar in the “Documentary Short Film” category.

Once commonplace in the United States, today Los Angeles is by far the largest and one of the last American cities to provide free and freely repaired musical instruments to its public school children, having done so continuously since 1959. The Last Repair Shop provides an all-access pass to the nondescript downtown warehouse, where a dwindling handful of devoted craftspeople keep over 80,000 student instruments in good repair.

“We are enormously grateful to the Academy’s Documentary Branch for lifting up this story and we are deeply honored to lead the charge to bring The Last Repair Shop to the 96th Oscars,” state co-directors Kris Bowers and Ben Proudfoot. “This film is about magnifying love and the people whose love makes the world go around. The fixers. The helpers. Those who lift us up with song. It is our duty to support and encourage and applaud them. Love, music, healing; these are the things that make the world go around and we found that story in an inconspicuous corner of LA’s public school district. This nomination is a win for the repair shop, for Los Angeles, and for all music loving people who believe in the will to repair. In many places in the world, young people have zero access to musical instruments. This nomination can help send a powerful message. You can’t stop the music.”

Led by general manager Steve Bagmanyan, the film introduces a technician from each department. The film blends the unexpectedly intimate personal histories of the repair people with emotional, first-hand accounts from the actual student musicians for whom their instruments made all the difference. 

The project was shot be cinematographer David Feeney-Mosier and edited by Nick Garnham Wright. It features an original score by Katya Richardson, with themes by Kris Bowers.