The Santa Barbara International Film Festival, January 27 – February 6, will open the 2011 Festival with the film SARAH’S KEY. Already receiving critical acclaim across the world, the French film will make its U.S. premiere at the Santa Barbara Festival’s opening night event. The film stars Kristin Scott Thomas and is directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, both of whom are scheduled to be in attendance. Opening night will take place at the Arlington Theatre on Thursday, January 27, 2011.

Remarked SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling, “From its triumphant unveiling in Toronto to its recent accolades in France and Tokyo, SARAH’S KEY has been stunning audiences, and we’re proud to open our 26th edition with it.”

Based on the international bestselling novel by Tatiana de Rosnay, the film beautifully interweaves two seemingly different stories, illustrating a remarkable connection between the past and present. The first story is that of Sarah Starzynski (Mélusine Mayance), a ten year old Jewish girl living in Paris during World War II. After the Vichy government and Nazi occupiers begin arresting Jews, Sarah attempts to save her family by locking her four-year old brother in a cupboard. Seen through her eyes, Sarah and her parents are taken from their home and eventually sent to the Nazi death camps. The second story follows Julia Jarmond (Kristin Scott Thomas), an American journalist living in modern day Paris with her French husband. Julia is assigned to write a story on the Vel’d’Hiv roundup of 1942, and upon investigation discovers she has a personal connection. The home owned by her husband’s family is actually the same one that Sarah and her family were taken from. The film takes an emotional look into a historical event long hidden, but now sure to never be forgotten.

Sarah’s Key, due to open late Spring, 2011, is a Hugo Production of a Weinstein Company and directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, produced by Stepháne Marsil.

Share this article ...