The 69th Berlin International Film Festival will open with the world premiere of Lone Scherfig’s The Kindness Of Strangers on February 7 2019. It will screen in competition.
The English-language film stars Zoe Kazan, Tahar Rahim, Andrea Riseborough, Caleb Landry Jones, Jay Baruchel and Bill Nighy. Written by Scherfig, it is a contemporary drama following a disparate group of characters struggling to survive in a New York City winter.
Scherfig’s extensive history with the Berlinale began with The Birthday Trip which screened in Panorama in 1990. Furhter Scherfig films ot screen at the festival inlcude the Dogme title Italian For Beginners which won the Jury Prize Silver Bear in 2001, and An Education which screened as a Berlinale Special in 2009 and went on to score three Oscar nominations.
HanWay Films has worldwide sales rights to the film which is produced by Malene Blenkov for Denmark’s Creative Alliance and Canada’s Strada Films. It is a co-production with France’s D’Artagnan, Germany’s Nadcon and Sweden’s Unlimited Stories.
Financing came from the Danish Film Institute and Telefilm Canada, Danmarks Radio, Ontario Creates, Copenhagen Film Fund, the Swedish Film Institute, Nordisk Film & TV Fond,Film i Väst, SF Studios, ARTE Grand Accord/WDR, Entertainment One and Ingenious Senior Film Fund.
Entertainment One will distribute in Canada and SF Studios is releasing in Scandinavia.
The Kindness Of Strangers will open Dieter Kosslick’s last edition as director of the Berlinale. “How lovely that Lone is back,” said Kosslick. ” Her feel for characters, strong emotions and subtle humour promises a wonderful start to the festival.”