Director Lone Scherfig (Italian for Beginners) will open the 69th edition of the Berlin Film Festival (7 – 17 February) with the world premiere of her English language film The Kindness Of Strangers, which will also compete in the festival’s International Competition.
Set at an opulent Russian restaurant in New York, the film follows a group of people going through difficult times who discover that their liberation and hopes ultimately lie in each other’s hands. In a time of growing insecurity and little mercy, the smallest coincidences and kindness can turn into the most surprising of outcomes.
Bill Nighy plays the restaurant owner, with Tahar Rahim as an ex-con who manages the restaurant, Zoe Kazan as a mother trying to avoid her abusive cop husband, Andrea Riseborough as a shy ER Nurse who runs an eclectic therapy group, Caleb Landry Jones as a man who desperately needs a job, and Jay Baruchel as a lawyer with high ethics but low self-esteem.
Director of the Berlinale, Dieter Kosslick, told Variety: “How lovely that Lone Scherfig is back and that her most recent work will open the 2019 Berlinale. Her feel for characters, strong emotions and subtle humor promises a wonderful start to the festival.”
Lone Scherfig added: “I am truly honored that Dieter Kosslick has selected our film to celebrate such a festive and important evening. It will be a great joy to watch it for the first time alongside the renowned Berlinale audience.”