The 67th Berlin Intl. Film Festival will open on Feb. 9 with the world premiere of “Django,” which centers on jazz guitarist-composer Django Reinhardt. Etienne Comar’s directorial debut will play in the main competition section of the festival, which is also known as the Berlinale.
The French film revolves around Reinhardt’s flight from German-occupied Paris in 1943. As a member of the Sinti minority, Reinhardt’s family was harassed and hounded by the Nazis. Reda Kateb (“Far From Men,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “A Prophet”) stars as Reinhardt, appearing alongside Cecile de France (“Russian Dolls,” “The Kid With a Bike”), Alex Brendemuehl and Ulrich Brandhoff. The screenplay is by Comar and Alexis Salatko.
“Django Reinhardt was one of the most brilliant pioneers of European jazz and the father of Gypsy Swing. ‘Django’ grippingly portrays one chapter in the musician’s eventful life and is a poignant tale of survival. Constant danger, flight and the atrocities committed against his family could not make him stop playing,” Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick said in a statement.
Comar is a well-established producer and screenwriter with movies such as “Of Gods and Men,” “Haute Cuisine,” “My King,” “The Women on the 6th Floor” and “Timbuktu.” “Of Gods and Men” and “Timbuktu” won the best film prize at the Cesars.
“Django” is produced by Fidelite, Arches Films and Pathe; Pathe Intl. is handling international sales. Reinhardt’s music was re-recorded for the film by the Dutch jazz band Rosenberg Trio.