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Perfume (Süskind’s best-seller) will open Ghent Competition

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Tom Tykwer (Lola Rennt, Heaven) will open the competition of the 33rd edition of the Flanders International Film Festival - Ghent on Wednesday October 11. This film is based on Patrick Süskind’s best-selling novel of the same title from 1985, of which more than 15 million copies have been sold worldwide. The film attracted no fewer than 250,000 film lovers to the cinemas when it premiered in Germany.

For 15 years, Patrick Süskind refused to sell the film rights to his international bestseller Perfume. This was not because the price offered was too low, but because the author was holding out for an offer from none other than Stanley Kubrick. After Kubrick’s death in 1999, the German producer Bernd Eichinger eventually managed to obtain the film rights. By then, filmmakers interested in this project such as Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorcese were working on their own film projects and Bernd Eichinger approached Tom Tykwer, known from Lola Rennt and Heaven. The result of this collaboration had been eagerly awaited for many years, because millions of readers believed that it would be impossible to adapt Patrick Süskind’s Perfume for the screen.

The film is set in 18th century France. The main character Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with an incomparable sense of smell: a unique talent for discerning scents and dissecting them down to the finest detail. He uses his talent to create the world’s finest perfumes and among other things apprentices himself to master perfumer Guiseppe Baldini. Lacking any personal odour, Jean-Baptiste gradually becomes fascinated by the irresistible scent of young women. But his obsession to develop a perfume based on that scent has deadly consequences...

The Flanders International Film Festival - Ghent selected Perfume: The Story of a Murderer as the opening film for the competition because it will appeal to mainstream audiences and to diehard movie buffs alike. In addition, director Tom Tykwer co-composed the music for the film and Perfume therefore rightly deserves a place in the Festival’s competition, the theme of which is "the impact of music on film". The film is also a visual masterpiece with outstanding performances by actors Ben Whishaw (Grenouille), Dustin Hoffman (Baldini) and Alan Rickman (Rickis).

The gala performance of Perfume also heralds the true start of the 33rd edition of the Flanders International Film Festival - Ghent, as its public screenings also start on Wednesday October 11. The complete programme of the 33rd Flanders International Film Festival - Ghent will be announced on Wednesday September 27.

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