Director: Bob Connelly and Sophie Raymond
95 minutes

Karen Carey has been Director of Music for twenty years at MLC Burwood, an independent Sydney girls’ school. She oversees the Biennial MLC Opera House Concert that takes 18 months of hard slog from conception to execution.

Bob Connolly (Rats in the Ranks, Facing the Music), one of the great figures of Australian documentary, makes his return to directing after a ten-year absence. He and co-director Sophie Raymond follow Mrs Carey and her team as they coax, inspire, cajole and frog march their young performers to reach the required standard. Carey insists on a challenging classical repertoire, demands a dauntingly high level of performance, and requires the active participation of not only her select group of dedicated student musicians, but also the entire 1200-strong student body.

Along the way, we can glimpse the great divide between those prepared to open their hearts and minds and those yet to discover the potential within.


Festivals: Adelaide; Sheffield Doc/Fest; Edinburgh; IDFA (Amsterdam); Documentary Edge (NZ); Australia-Israel Cultural FF (Israel); Sydney Travelling FF; Dungog (Aust)


  • AACTAs: Best Feature Length Documentary
  • Best Direction in a Documentary

Winner: Samsung AACTA Awards

  • Best Feature Length Documentary-  Bob Connolly and Helen Panckhurst
  • Best Direction in a Documentary – Bob Connolly and Sophie Raymond


  • AACTA Awards: Best Cinematography in a Documentary
  • IF Awards: Best Documentary 

Australian Film Critics Association Film Awards nominations:

  • Best Australian Film
  • Best Documentary
Film Type Documentary
Director Bob Connelly and Sophie Raymond
Producer Bob Connelly & Helen Panckhurst