The 67th Berlin International Film Festival (February 9-19) will open with the world premiere of Django, the new French produced film based on the life of Django Reinhardt, the celebrated guitarist regarded as the father of Gypsy Swing.
The film revolves around his flight from German-occupied Paris in 1943, where he was harrassed by the Nazis as a member of the Sinti minority. It features actor Reda Kateb in the titular role. Other names in the cast include Cecile de France and Alex Brendemuhl.
In an official statement, Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick said: “Django Reinhardt was one of the most brilliant pioneers of European jazz and the father of Gypsy Swing. Django grippingly portrays one chapter in the musician’s eventful life and is a poignant tale of survival. Constant danger, flight and the atrocities committed against his family could not make him stop playing.”
Along with being the opening film of the 67th Berlinale, Django will also be included in the festival’s Official Competition.
Django marks the feature debut of director Etienne Comar and will therefore become one of the very few first time features to have opened an edition of Berlinale.