EXCLUSIVE: French actress Isabelle Adjani, co-star of the Berlin Film Festival’s opening film Peter Von Kant, has not traveled for the world premiere tonight due to being a close contact of someone with Covid, we understand from multiple sources.
The film is being represented in Berlin by director Francois Ozon and stars Denis Menochet, Khalil Garbia and Stéfan Crépon, among others.
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Veteran German actress Hanna Schygulla, who has a supporting role in the film, is also not in attendance tonight, for reasons that remain unclear. The iconic German New Wave star is well known for her collaborations with legendary local filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder, including in The Bitter Tears Of Petra Von Kant (1972), which is the inspiration for Ozon’s Peter Von Kant.
Fassbinder’s original follows a successful fashion designer who abandons a sado-masochistic relationship with her female assistant in favor of a love affair with a beautiful young woman.
In Ozon’s film, described as “free interpretation” of Fassbinder’s original and a homage to the great German filmmaker, Peter Von Kant (Menochet) is a successful, famous director who lives with his assistant Karl, whom he likes to mistreat and humiliate. Through a great actress (played by two-time Oscar nominee Adjani), he meets and falls in love with Amir (Garbia), a handsome young man of modest means. He offers to share his apartment and help Amir break into the world of cinema.
Paris-based Playtime reps sales on the movie, which is written and produced by acclaimed French filmmaker Ozon.
The Berlin Film Festival is going ahead despite high Covid cases in Germany and some disquiet from local press. The event will run as a truncated six day program with a number of safety protocols in place such as 50% cinema capacity. M. Night Shyamalan is overseeing the International Jury. The festival’s industry event, the European Film Market, is being held online.
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