Canada copro The Kindness of Strangers to open Berlin film fest

Produced by Lone Scherfig's Creative Alliance banner and Toronto's Strada Films, the drama will have its world premiere in the festival's international competition.

The Kindness of Strangers, a Denmark/Canada coproduction helmed by Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig, is set to open the 69th Berlin International Film Festival in February.

The drama follows an ensemble of characters trying to survive the New York City winter. Previously titled Secrets From the Russian Tea Room, the project filmed in Toronto this March before moving to Copenhagen and New York. The feature will make its world premiere as part of Berlin’s international competition.

The Kindness of Strangers is produced by Scherfig’s Copenhagen-based Creative Alliance and Toronto’s Strada Films in coproduction with France’s D’Artagnan, Germany’s Nadcon, Sweden’s Unlimited Stories, Sweden’s Film i Väst fund, France’s ARTE France Cinéma and the WDR/ARTE Grand Accord fund. Creative Alliance’s Malene Blenkov produces alongside Sandra Cunningham and Robin Cass of Strada.

The feature stars Bill Nighy (Love Actually), Caleb Landry Jones (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri), Jay Baruchel (Goon), Zoe Kazan (The Big Sick), Tahar Rahim (A Prophet) and Andrea Riseborough (Death of Stalin).

Backed by Ingenious Media and Apollo Media, HanWay Films represents worldwide sales and distribution rights for the film. eOne will distribute the film in Canada, while SF Studios will distribute in Scandinavia.

The Kindness of Strangers was made with the participation of The Danish Film Institute, Telefilm Canada, Ontario Creates, Danmarks Radio, the Copenhagen Film Fund, the Swedish Film Institute, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, Entertainment One and Ingenious Senior Film Fund/Apollo Media.

Scherfig’s credits include The Birthday TrioOn Our OwnItalian For BeginnersWilbur Wants To Kill Himself and An Education starring Carey Mulligan and Peter Sarsgaard, all films that have previously screened at Berlin film fest. Her screenplay for A Serious Game also opened in the festival’s Berlinale Special Gala in 2016. The Kindness of Strangers will premiere on Feb. 7, 2019.