As we get ready for the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, let’s take a look at one of the most buzzed about documentaries of the year: SEYMOUR: AN INTRODUCTION.

The ROOFTOP FILMS and PIPER-HEIDSEICK special screening was presented in partnership with Sundance Selects. Film Director Ethan Hawke and subject/inspiration SEYMOUR BERNSTEIN took a 250+strong crowd “to church” – literally and figuratively—at the preview event, held at St. Bart’s in New York City.

Those on hand to raise a glass and watch the inspirational film included MARK RUFFALO (Foxcatcher, Normal Heart) and his wife, SUNRISE, CARMEN EJOGO (Selma), TATE DONOVAN (Argo, Damages), VINCENT D’ONOFRIO (Law & Order Criminal Intent, Men In Black), PARKER POSEY (You’ve Got Mail), PAUL SCHRADER (writer, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull), BEAU WILLIMON (writer/producer, House of Cards), VANESSA BAYER (SNL) BOB GRUEN (photographer), STEPHEN FLAHERTY (composer, Ragtime, Seussical), MICHAEL FEINSTEIN (performer/singer), and MARY BETH HURT (stage actress), among others. The magical event included a champagne reception, a candid Q&A with Hawke and Bernstein as well as a musical performance by EMILY ROSLYN MARTIN.

Seymour Bernstein & Ethan Hawke close up

The premiere event was lighthearted, and playful. Tate Donovan and Parker Posey had a moment before meandering through the event together. Vincent D’Onofrio, who came to support his friend Hawke, gushed about the film to Mark Ruffalo, and when the two caught up briefly on the carpet, Seymour often reminded Ethan to keep the microphone near his mouth (while he spoke) prompting Ethan to  remark, “ever the teacher,” a running joke throughout the Q&A as Hawke searched for words to express his feelings about his mentor and the subject of the moving film.

The fun continued as Hawke was handed a personalized PIPER-HEIDSIECK bottle, Ethan questioned if having champagne in church was legal. Assured it was, he went on to talk about the acoustics of the space wanting to make sure that they were just right for the preview screening. He shared a friend’s reaction with the crowd: “If the acoustics here are okay with God, it should be okay with you.”

Here is a quick synopsis of the film:

Meet Seymour Bernstein, a virtuoso pianist, veteran New Yorker, and true original who gave up a successful concert career to teach music. In this wonderfully warm, witty, and intimate tribute from his friend, Ethan Hawke, Seymour shares unforgettable stories from his remarkable life and eye-opening words of wisdom, as well as insightful reflections on art, creativity, and the search for fulfillment. A “poignant guide to life” (Indiewire) and an engaging exploration on the dedication, perseverance, and fortitude essential to creating both art and a rewarding life, Seymour: An Introduction will leave audiences uplifted and inspired.

You can now Pre-order the film on iTunes.

Piper Heidsieck, whose cinematic heritage stretches back to films’ golden age. Its on-screen debut was alongside comedy greats Laurel and Hardy when the iconic red and black bottle appeared in their 1930 film ‘Sons of the Desert’. In 1964, to celebrate Rex Harrison’s Oscar for My Fair Lady, he was presented with a bottle as tall as he was containing a full 48 litres of vintage champagne. The storied drink has always gone flute in hand with the stars; Marilyn Monroe may have slept wearing a splash of Chanel No.5 but she woke up to a glass of Piper Heidsieck.