Peter Farrelly’s “Green Book” is set to be the opening night film for the 14th Zurich Film Festival, the festival announced Friday. The drama, which stars Viggo Mortensen and Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali, will see its European Premiere in Zurich on Sept. 27.
Set in the early 1960s, “Green Book” is inspired by the true story of a friendship that transcended race, class and societal constraints. Mortensen plays an Italian-American bouncer from the Bronx, hired to drive a world-class black pianist (played by “Moonlight’s” Ali) on a concert tour from Manhattan to the Deep South. The pair must rely on “The Green Book,” a guide to the few establishments that were safe and accessible for African-Americans. Linda Cardellini co-stars.
“Whilst it is set in the 1960s, ‘Green Book’ feels incredibly relevant today, in the face of racism, discrimination and division in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world,” said Zurich Film Festival co-directors Nadja Schildknecht and Karl Spoerri. “The film is also a pure delight for cinema-goers.”
Farrelly and Mortensen are both expected to attend the opening night premiere in Zurich. “Green Book” will have its world premiere at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival in September.
The Participant Media and DreamWorks Pictures film was written by Farrelly, Brian Currie and Nick Vallelonga. All three serve as producers alongside Jim Burke and Charles B. Wesller. Octavia Spencer and Kwame L. Parker serve as executive producers, alongside Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King for Participant Media, and John Sloss and Steven Farneth for Cinetic Media.
The 14th Zurich Film Festival runs Sept. 27-Oct. 7.