When the Palm Springs International Film Festival starts on January 5th, the honor of being the opening film will fall to Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. The film, by Oscar-nominated director Lasse Hallstrom (The Cider House Rules) and Oscar-winning writer Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) is an adaptation of the Paul Torday award-winning novel of the same name. The plot follows a sheik (Amr Waked) who desires to bring salmon fishing to the Yemen, a wild idea that is facilitated by a fishing expert (Ewan McGregor) and a PR consultant (Emily Blunt) with the urgings of the Prime Minister’s press secretary (Kristin Scott Thomas). While Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is set to open the festival, the German comedy Almanya, Welcome to Germany will close it out on January 15th. Hit the jump for more on Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.
THR reported that Halstrom’s Salmon Fishing in the Yemen would be opening the Palm Springs International Film Festival, which will screen 187 films from 73 countries in early January. Darryl Macdonald, the festival director had this to say:
“It’s a wide ranging line-up of highly accomplished and often provocative new films, coupled with an expanded archival section. I’m particularly delighted to be opening the festival with the U.S. debut of Lasse Hallstrom’s hugely engaging crowd-pleaser, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen – the work of a master filmmaker, an Oscar-winning screenwriter and a celebrated cast. For the first time ever we are closing with a German comedy – and it is pitch perfect.”
A visionary sheik has a big dream — to bring salmon fishing to the desert. Willing to spare no expense, he instructs his representative to turn his dream into reality, an extraordinary feat that will require the involvement of Britain’s leading fisheries expert who happens to think the project both absurd and unachievable. That is, until the Prime Minister’s overzealous press secretary latches on for its potential as a ‘good will’ story. Now, this unlikely team will put it all on the line and embark on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible, possible.