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Volker Schlondorff to Direct ‘Diplomacy’

WWII drama shows how Paris was saved from destruction

PARIS — Volker Schlondorff (“The Tin Drum”) is on board to helm “Diplomacy,” a WWII drama based on the true story of a German officer who saved Paris from destruction.

The pic, which takes place on the day Paris was liberated by the Allies, depicts the tense confrontation between the Swedish ambassador and the German military governor of Paris, Dietrich von Choltitz. The latter was ordered by Adolf Hitler to blow up the city, but he chose to ignore the Fuhrer’s command.

Andre Dussollier, who won a Cesar for “On connait la chanson,” plays the Swedish ambassador, and Niels Arestrup, who won a Cesar for “A Prophet,” stars as Von Choltitz.

“Diplomacy” is produced by Marc de Bayser and Frank de Bayser at Gaul’s Film Oblige and co-produced by Germany’s Blueprint Film.

Gaumont has nabbed French distribution and international sales rights and will start pre-sales at Cannes.

Yohann Comte, deputy head of sales at Gaumont, described the pic as “a tense, witty and elegant confrontation in the vein of ‘Sleuth’ by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, ‘Downfall’ by Oliver Hirschbiegel and ‘Is Paris Burning?’ by Rene Clement.”

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