Element Pictures Distribution are thrilled to announce that they have secured the Irish and UK rights to Wardrop’s latest feature MAKING THE GRADE with a cinema release set for April 13th.

Wardrop’s signature style once again shines through in these heart-warming and  life-affirming tales of students and their beloved piano teachers.

MAKING THE GRADE invites us into the world of the piano lesson. Every year teachers and students throughout Ireland prepare for graded musical exams. These exams can be pleasing for some but daunting for others. Each student has their own particular goal but reaching Grade Eight is considered a pinnacle. This endearing and uplifting documentary explores the bond between piano teachers and their pupils as they struggle through these grades. This is a story of the transformative power of music and the pride and happiness it provides both the students and teachers. It may inspire us all to keep making the grade.

Speaking on the acquisition Wardrop comments “We’re thrilled to be working with Element Pictures Distribution on the forthcoming release of MAKING THE GRADE. The film was created by a small team of passionate and talented people, and with the kind support of the Irish Arts Council. We feel very privileged and excited to be able to share the film with Irish audiences.”

Head of Distribution at Element Pictures, Audrey Sheils added: “Ken has created a beautiful and moving film that captures the pure joy of what music can bring and we couldn’t be happier to be bringing it to cinemas this Spring.”

The acquisition marks the third time that EPD and Venon productions have worked together. In 2012 EPD released Wardrop’s much-loved box-office hit His & Hers and last year released the IFTA winning Mom & Me.

MAKING THE GRADE is directed by Ken Wardrop and produced by Andrew Freedman. MAKING THE GRADE is a Reel Arts film funded by the Arts Council.


Element Pictures Distribution

Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe run Ireland’s leading independent film distribution company Element Pictures Distribution, handling StudioCanal’s slate in Ireland as well as direct acquisitions. Notable releases include Lenny Abrahamson’s Golden Globe and Oscar winning Room and Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer. In 2011, EPD released The Guard (John Michael McDonagh), which became one of the highest grossing independent Irish films of all time, with a cumulative box office of €4m+. Additionally, Element Pictures operates an online video on demand platform, Volta.ie and also runs and operates the Light House Cinema in Dublin and Pálás in Galway.