'My Salinger Year' to Open Berlin Film Festival

My Salinger Year

Margaret Qualley stars as an assistant to J.D. Salinger's literary agent, played by Sigourney Weaver.

My Salinger Year, a literary drama starring Margaret Qualley and Sigourney Weaver, will open the 70th Berlin International Film Festival.

The drama, from director Philippe Falardeau, stars Qualley as an aspiring poet working as an assistant to literary agent Margaret (Sigourney Weaver). Qualley's main job is to answer fan mail directed to the agency's top writer, the notoriously secretive J.D. Salinger, author of The Catcher in the Rye. Douglas Booth (The Dirt) co-stars.

The film, based on the novel of the same name by Joanna Rakoff, will have its world premiere out-of-competition in Berlin.

“We are delighted to open the 70th edition of the festival with a coming-of-age story that takes the viewpoint of the protagonist who has a fresh perspective, which is in no way naïve,” said Berlin festival artistic director Carlo Chatrian. “Philippe Falardeau depicts the small NYC literary world of the 1990s with humor and a sweet note, but he never forgets the 21st century we are living in or the unifying role that art plays in all of our lives.”

Falardeau is no stranger to Berlin, having presented his 2009 drama It’s Not Me, I Swear! in the festival's Generation sidebar, where it won both the Crystal Bear for best film and the Grand Prix of the Generation Kplus International Jury. Falardeau's work includes the 2014 biopic The Good Lie, starring Reese Witherspoon, and the Oscar-nominated Quebecois drama Monsieur Lazhar (2011).

“I'm thrilled that My Salinger Year will open the 2020 Berlinale. We couldn’t have hoped for a better world premiere,” said Falardeau.

My Salinger Year was produced by Canada's micro_scope and Parallel Films in Ireland. Memento Films International are handling international sales with UTA handling domestic.

The 70th Berlin International Film Festival runs Feb. 20-March 1. Berlin will unveil its full competition lineup next week.