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BERLINALE 2007 Competition

Dahan’s La vie en Rose to open festival


La vie en Rose [+see also:
film profile
, the adaptation of the life of famous singer Edith Piaf by Olivier Dahan, starring Marion Cotillard as Piaf, will open the 57th Berlin Film Festival (February 8-18, 2007), according to the weekly film publication Le Film Français.

Selected in competition, the sixth title by the director will join – as Cineuropa predicted on December 18 (see news) – the six titles announced last week by Festival Artistic Director Dieter Kosslick (see news).

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Also starring Gérard Depardieu, Sylvie Testud, Clotilde Courau, Pascal Greggory, Emmanuelle Seigner, Jean-Paul Rouve Catherine Allégret, Marc Barbé and Jean-Pierre Martins, La vie en Rose recounts the life of Piaf (1915 – 1963), her childhood and fame, her highs and her lows, from Belleville to New York.

Abandoned by her mother, looked after by her grandmother, the owner of a whorehouse and forced to sing by her father, a contortionist at a circus, the young Piaf was then discovered by cabaret manager Louis Leplée (Depardieu) who was then murdered. She perfected her art with composer Raymond Asso (Barbé), survived the war and blows to her destiny, such as the death of the love of her life, boxer Marcel Cerdan (Martins), in a plane accident. Piaf’s life is a veritable novel that has now been made into a film scripted by Dahan.

One anecdote of note is that the last song recorded by the singer in early 1963 was called L'homme de Berlin, a city where Dahan presented his debut feature Brothers: Red Roulette in a parallel section at the 1995 festival.

The 39 year-old director went on to make Already Dead (1997, with Romain Duris and Benoît Magimel), Tom Thumb (2001), Ghost River (2002, with Isabelle Huppert and Pascal Greggory) and Crimson Rivers 2: Angels of the Apocalypse (2004).

The €20.7m budget La vie en Rose was produced by Alain Goldman for Légende Entreprises, with co-production funding from TF1 Films Production, the Czech Republic’s Okko Production and UK outfit Songbird Pictures Limited.

The film opens on French screens through TFM on February 14, in Germany through Constantin Film on February 22, on February 23 in Austria, through Sandrew Metronome in March in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark, and through Icon Films in the UK in the last quarter of 2007.

Sold by TF1 International, La vie en Rose was also pre-bought by Lusomundo for Portugal, AQS for the Czech Republic, Best Film for Poland, Alexandra Films for Bulgaria and Picturehouse for the US.

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(Translated from French)

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