Canadian director Philippe Falardeau’s My Salinger Year will open this year’s Berlin Film Festival. Berlin announced the big news earlier today. My Salinger Year stars Margaret Qualley (Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood) and Sigourney Weaver (A Monster Calls) alongside Canadian stars Colm Feore (Bon Cop, Bad Cop) and Théodore Pellerin (Genesis). The film adapts Joanna Rakoff’s memoir about her year in a literary agency firm that represented author J.D. Salinger. The world premiere event kicks off the 70th edition of the Berlinale on February 20th.
My Salinger Year is a Canada-Ireland co-production. It features Luc Déry and Kim McCraw of micro_scope as its Canadian producers. The duo previously backed Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar, which received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. That Shelf also named it one of the 100 best films of the previous decade. The film was produced with the financial participation of Téléfilm Canada, Sodec, Screen Ireland, in association with Crave and Super Ecran.
“I am thrilled (and also shocked) to learn that My Salinger Year will open the Berlinale,” said Falardeau in a statement from the film’s Canadian distributor, Mongrel Media. “We could not have hoped for a better World Premiere. When one looks at the films that have opened the festival in the past, my team and I can only be honored to be part of that list. I have very fond memories of Berlin where C’est pas moi, je le jure was presented. I am delighted to attend again with Margaret Qualley and Sigourney Weaver.”
My Salinger Year‘s prime slot at Berlin marks back-to-back opening nights for Canadian co-productions. Last year’s co-pro The Kindness of Strangers directed by Lone Scherfig opened the festival to middling results. However, Falardeau’s film could set the right tone for a festival as audiences are eager for more female-focused stories.
In New York City in the late ‘90s, Joanna (Qualley) is a young aspiring writer. She lands a day job at J.D. Salinger’s literary agency. While her eccentric, old-fashioned boss Margaret (Weaver) tasks her to process Salinger’s voluminous fan mail, Joanna struggles to find her own voice.
My Salinger Year opens in theatres in 2020 from Mongrel Media.
Check out the first images below: