Brolin at the double in Deauville

Josh stars in opening and closing films

by Richard Mowe

Jason Clark, Jake Gyllenhaal and Josh Brolin in Everest
Jason Clark, Jake Gyllenhaal and Josh Brolin in Everest
Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormákur’s Everest, the story of two expeditions to climb the world’s highest mountain, will be the opening night-film at the 41st Deauville American Film Festival on September 4, the organisers have announced today. The film features Josh Brolin - who also stars in the festival's closing film Sicario.

The film also has been slated to open the 72nd Venice Film Festival just two days earlier on September 2.

The cast also includes Jason Clarke, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Keira Knightley and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Kormakur’s previous films include The Deep, which was shortlisted in the foreign language Oscar category, as well as the English-language films Contraband and 2 Guns.

The script is by William Nicholson (Gladiator) and Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire), who were inspired by the incredible events surrounding a treacherous attempt to reach the summit of the world's highest mountain.

The film documents the awe-inspiring journey of two different expeditions challenged beyond their limits by one of the fiercest snowstorms ever encountered in the annals of climbing. The climbers face nearly impossible obstacles as a lifelong obsession becomes a breathtaking struggle for survival.

Josh Brolin in Sicario
Josh Brolin in Sicario
Deauville’s closing title on September 13 will be Sicario by Canadian Denis Villeneuve which was well received earlier in the year at the Cannes Film Festival.

Emily Blunt as an FBI agent teams up with Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin to bring down a Mexican drug lord. Brolin has the distinction of starring in both the opening and closing titles.

The director, who’s readying his next film, Story Of Your Life, in which Amy Adams plays a linguist encountering aliens, is also developing a Blade Runner sequel.

Meanwhile French director Benoît Jacquot whose most recent film Diary of A Chambermaid, an adaptation of Octave Mirbeau’s 1900 succes de scandale with Lea Seydoux as the secretive servant of the title, will be president of the jury who discern prizes in the Competition.

The full programme will be announced later this month.

Deauville, an elegant belle epoque beach resort and equestrian town in Normandy, hosts the annual festival devoted to American cinema partly because of its historical Second World War connections to the United States. The event began in 1975 as a venture to prolong tourism past the end of the horse-racing season. It was founded by Michel D'Ornano, who was then Mayor of Deauville. When he moved on to become French Minister of Culture in 1977, his wife, Anne, succeeded him as Mayor and became the real guiding light of the festival. Mrs. D'Ornano, whose husband died in 1991, is still a guiding light.

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