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‘Blackbird,’ with Kate Winslet, Susan Sarandon, Opens San Sebastian Festival

MADRID  —  Starring Kate Winslet, Susan Sarandon and Mia Wasikowska, “Blackbird,” an English-language remake of Bille August’s 2014 Danish-language movie “Silent Heart,” will open the 67th San Sebastian Film Festival on Sept. 20.

World premiering at the Toronto Intl. Film  Festival as a Gala Presentation, “Blackbird” will play in competition at what will be its European premiere.

San Sebastian’s competition normally mixes larger world cinema auteurs with a few choice first features. “Silent Heart” brings it large star-laden independent which promising to be an audience-friendly tearjerker.

Directed by Roger Michell (“Notting Hill,” “My Cousin Rachel”), “Blackbird” turns on terminally-ill matriarch, Lily (Sarandon). who reunites three generations of her family at their country house for one final time.

Lily informs them that she will soon put an end to her life via euthanasia, but her daughters (Winslet and Wasikowska), whose tensions already threaten a peaceful sending off, discover family secrets which make the situation even more complicated.

Produced and sold internationally by Millennium Films and penned by “Silent Heart’s” screenwriter Christian Thorpe, “Blackbird” co-stars Sam Neill, Lindsay Duncan, Rainn Wilson, Bex Taylor-Klaus and Anson Boon.

“Silent Heart” screened in competition at San Sebastian in 2014, winning Paprika Steen a Silver Shell for Best Actress. Michell also played in competition in 2013 with “Le Week-End,” which merited Jim Broadbent a best actor Silver Shell.

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