WASHINGTON, Feb. 19, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Audiences around the world have celebrated 30-year-old pianist Aeham Ahmad for his talents, and now NHK WORLD-JAPAN has depicted the man, his musical gift and his extraordinary story of bravery and survival in the documentary, The Pianist From Syria. The film will be screened in partnership with the Washington Film Institute on Wednesday, February 27 at 6:30 pm, in the Holeman Lounge of the National Press Club, 529 14th Street, NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC 20045.

Immediately following the screening, the program’s director, Ms. Kaori Hizume and Deputy Managing Director of NHK WORLD-JAPAN, Mr. Takaaki Takai, will be taking questions from the audience.

The English-language program profiles the Syrian-born pianist who lived with his family in the refugee camp Yarmouk, where catastrophic conditions prevailed. When he was just five years old, his father taught him to play the piano, a talent which would change his life. At 23, he graduated from the Conservatorium in Damascus.

Risking his life, the musician would often play his piano among the ruins of Yarmouk to bring some respite to the people caught between the violence of Syrian government forces and rebel groups. Video of these street concerts made Ahmad an internet sensation.

However, in the spring of 2015, when Islamic State militants imposed a ban on music and his piano burned in front of his eyes, Ahmad knew he had to flee. Forced to leave behind his wife and sons, Ahmad eventually landed in Germany and was accepted as part of their refugee program. Wiesbaden, Germany is now home, where he lives with his reunited family, performing in concerts around Europe, and teaching music to refugee children from Syria.

Admission is free for the screening, but registration is required for the limited seating. Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/reception-and-screening-the-pianist-from-syria-tickets-55679763672 

NHK WORLD-JAPAN reaches over 300 million households in 160 countries and regions via local satellite and cable TV providers. The channel is distributed in the Washington, DC and Baltimore markets, and across the state of Maryland by Maryland Public Television. For details visit nhk.jp/world.

Jim Boyle, Boyle Public Affairs, jim@boylepublicaffairs.com 571-213-3979

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/94bcc54c-ec1f-4399-b721-084af548a271.