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65th San Sebastian Film Festival
22/30 September 2017 - #65ssiff

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You are in: Home > 2019. 67th Edition  > News > Roger Michell’s ‘Blackbird’ to open the San Sebastian Festival
Roger Michell’s ‘Blackbird’ to open the San Sebastian Festival
Starring Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Mia Wasikowska and Sam Neill, the film is a remake of ‘Silent Heart’ (2014), the drama by Denmark’s Bille August, which also competed for the Golden Shell
Tuesday, August 13th, 2019

The European premiere of Blackbird, starring Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Mia Wasikowska and Sam Neill, will open the Official Competition at the 67th edition of the San Sebastian Festival. Directed by Roger Michell, this co-production between the USA and the United Kingdom is a remake of Stille Hjerte / Silent Heart (2014), the drama with which the Danish filmmaker Bille August competed at the Festival and for which Paprika Steen won the Silver Shell for Best Actress.

The race for the Golden Shell will kick off on September 20 with the screening of Blackbird, whose screenplay is also the work of Christian Torpe, author of the original script for Silent Heart. Susan Sarandon (Donostia Award-winner, 1995) embodies a terminally ill woman who wants to put an end to her suffering. Although the family initially support her decision to die with dignity, her daughters (Winslet and Wasikowska) discover family secrets which make the situation even more complicated.

Roger Michell (Pretoria, South Africa, 1956), a filmmaker settled in the United Kingdom, started out in cinema with films like My Night with Reg (1997) and Titanic Town (1998), although his first major success was Notting Hill (1999), a romantic comedy starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant which grossed $360 million. He has also directed titles such as the thriller Changing Lanes (2002), with Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Affleck, and Le Week-End (2013), which competed in San Sebastian’s Official Selection and earned Jim Broadbent the Silver Shell for Best Actor.  

For her part, Susan Sarandon, Academy Award-winner for her role in Dead Man Walking (1995), has been acting for fifty years. Among her earlier parts is particularly that of Atlantic City (Official Selection, 1980), which brought her to San Sebastian for the first time with the director Louis Malle. Fifteen years later, the co-protagonist of the famous Thelma & Louise received a Donostia Award in recognition of her career. Her name has since featured on the casts of several films programmed by the Festival, such as Emotional Arithmetic (2007), In The Valley of Elah (2007) and Arbitrage (2012), which brought her back here in person with Richard Gere.

Blackbird, which will be distributed in Spain by DeAPlaneta and on the international market by Millennium Films, will screen at the opening gala of the San Sebastian Festival’s 67th edition on September 20. Tickets are now on sale on the Festival website at a price of 70 euros.


Roger Michell  (USA )
Cast: Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Mia Wasikowska, Sam Neill, Rainn Wilson, Lindsay Duncan
Opening Film (In competition)

A woman summons her whole family to tell them that she doesn’t want to continue living. The announcement will reveal hidden family grudges, but also the love that her two daughters feel for their mother.

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