Falardeau's 'My Salinger Year' will open the Berlin film festival

Montreal writer-director Philippe Falardeau's "My Salinger Year" will open next month's Berlin International Film Festival.

The movie stars Margaret Qualley as a young writer who lands a clerical job at the literary agency representing J.D. Salinger in New York City in the late 1990s.

Sigourney Weaver plays her "eccentric, old-fashioned" boss who asks her to process Salinger's fan mail.

Other cast members include Douglas Booth, Seana Kerslake, Colm Feore and Theodore Pellerin.

The 70th edition of the Berlin International Film Festival opens Feb. 20.

This will be the world premiere for the film, which is Falardeau's eighth feature after acclaimed titles including the Oscar-nominated "Monsieur Lazhar."

His other films include "It's Not Me, I Swear!" which won two awards at the Berlin festival in 2009.

Luc Dery and Kim McCraw of Montreal-based micro_scope co-produced "My Salinger Year" with Irish company Parallel Films.

Falardeau directed and wrote the film based on Joanna Rakoff's autobiographical book of the same name.

He shot it last summer in Montreal and a few days in New York.

It's Falardeau's third English-language film, after the boxing film "Chuck" starring Liev Schreiber and Elisabeth Moss, and "The Good Lie" with Reese Witherspoon.

In a 2017 interview with The Canadian Press, Falardeau said directing major stars on English-language projects "forces you to think about your work in a different way" and widens his range as a director.

He said he wanted to make "My Salinger Year" in English because it made sense.

"But I'm not scouting for films in English just for the sake of shooting in English or just for the sake of shooting with Hollywood stars," Falardeau added, noting he'll direct English-language films if the subject matter speaks to him.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 24, 2020.

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press