'Green Book' to Open Zurich Film Festival

Courtesy of TIFF
'Green Book'

Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali star in Peter Farrelly's 1960s drama about an Italian-American bouncer hired to chauffeur a black classical pianist on a concert tour through the deep south.

Peter Farrelly's Green Book will open the 2018 Zurich Film Festival (ZFF), kicking off the Swiss event Sept. 27.

Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali star in the period drama from Participant Media and DreamWorks Pictures. Mortensen plays an Italian-American bouncer hired to chauffeur a black classical pianist (Ali) on a concert tour through the deep south. On the road, they must rely on “The Green Book,” a guide book to the few hotels and restaurants that accept African-Americans.

“We are thrilled to be opening the ZFF with Green Book, one of the season’s most anticipated films,” said Zurich Festival co-directors Nadja Schildknecht and Karl Spoerri. “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. The film is also a pure delight for cinemagoers.”

Farrelly and Mortensen will attend the Zurich premiere.

Green Book will premiere in Toronto next month.

Farrelly co-wrote Green Book together with Brian Currie and Nick Vallelonga. The trio also co-produced the film with Jim Burke and Charles B. Wessler. Participant’s Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King executive produced together with Octavia Spencer and Kwame L. Parker as well as Cinetic Media’s John Sloss and Steven Farneth.

Ascot Elite have Swiss rights to Green Book and will bow the film in local cinemas in January 2019.

The 14th Zurich Film Festival runs Sept. 27-Oct. 7.