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Actress and producer Anne Hathaway took a moment to puncture the film-world bubble surrounding the 73rd Berlinale on Thursday, using a portion of the press conference for her latest movie She Came to Me to address the bigger global picture.
“I want to express my gratitude to the film festival for including a hero of our times and for giving us all the opportunity to amplify the message of Ukraine, which is the almost universal desire for peace,” the actress said.
Hathaway was responding to the unlikely pairing of her New York-set romantic comedy and a public video address from Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.
Festival organizers revealed Wednesday that the Ukraine leader would speak at the Berlinale’s opening ceremony, using the platform to call for solidarity with Ukraine in its ongoing war with Russia. Shortly after the war-time leader’s speech, the Berlinale will begin with the world premiere of She Came to Me.
“I think that’s truly amazing,” said She Came to Me‘s writer and director Rebecca Miller when asked about her work’s alignment with Zelensky’s address. “I’m hoping that this film is a kind of ambassador of goodwill across many nations, from our nation,” she said. “I do sometimes think of filmmaking being a kind of patriotic act, to show different aspects of our country, which I think is really important, especially because of the status of the United States — to show different faces of our culture and how we think.”
“It’s a great honor to have anything to do with him, because he’s obviously a hero at this point,” Miller added. “I think one of the ways in which we can perhaps have a more peaceful world is having our art speak across nations.”
Set in New York, She Came to Me features Peter Dinklage as a composer with writer’s block, struggling to complete his big comeback opera. On the suggestion of his wife, and former therapist, played by Hathaway, he sets out in search of inspiration — and ends up having an affair with a love-addicted tugboat captain, played by Marisa Tomei. But while the fling seems to cure the writer’s block, it sends his personal life into crisis.
Miller is a Berlin regular. She was last at the festival with Maggie’s Plan, which screened in the Panorama sidebar. Her 2009 feature The Private Lives of Pippa Lee screened in Berlin’s main competition. She Came to Me is screening out of competition this year as a Berlinale Special Gala.
Damon Cardasis, Pamela Koffler, Christine Vachon, Rebecca Miller, Len Blavatnik and Anne Hathaway produced She Came to Me. Protagonist Pictures are handling international sales and CAA are representing North America.
The 73rd Berlin International Film Festival runs Feb. 16-26.
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