14 May2024


Beta Cinema is kicking off pre-sales at the upcoming Cannes International Film Festival for the big-screen adaptation of THE NOISE OF TIME, the internationally acclaimed novel by Man Booker Prize winner Julian Barnes. The book was adapted by two-times Academy Award-winner Christopher Hampton (The Father, Dangerous Liaisons). Academy Award-nominee Jan Komasa will direct (Corpus Christi, Warsaw ’44, The Hater, Anniversary) and August Diehl will star in the leading role as the acclaimed composer Dimitri Shostakovich, while Academy Award-nominee Andrea Riseborough will play Nita, Shostakovich’s wife and intellectual equal, who navigates him through the minefields of those perilous times.

The story takes us through the trajectory of the Russian composer’s life and career, beginning in 1936 when Shostakovich, aged thirty, faces Stalin's wrath after his opera is condemned. Although a stroke of luck prevents him from becoming yet another casualty of the Great Terror, for decades Shostakovich is held fast under the thumb of despotism: made to represent Soviet values at a cultural conference in New York City, forced into joining the communist party and compelled, constantly, to weigh appeasing those in power against the integrity of his music.

THE NOISE OF TIME was Julian Barnes first novel after his Man Booker Prize-winning The Sense of an Ending. It has been translated to 34 languages and was praised by the critics – it was selected Book of the Year of the Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, Guardian, Sunday Times, The Times, New Statesman, and the Observer simultaneously. One of the most acclaimed screenwriters of the hour, the two-time Academy Award-winner Christopher Hampton (Dangerous Liasions, Atonement, The Father, The Quiet American, The Son) adapted the book for the screen.

German actor August Diehl (Shostakovich) is soon to be seen as the notorious Nazi doctor Joseph Mengele in Kirill Serebrennikov’s Disappearance and in Michael Lockshin’s adaptation of Bulgakov’s famous novel The Master and Margarita. He is best known for his leading role in Terrence Malick’s A Hidden Life. Andrea Riseborough will star as Nita, Shostakovich’s wife. Academy Award-nominated for her leading role in Michael Morris’ To Leslie, her acclaimed performances also include Possessor, The Death of Stalin, Nancy, Nocturnal Animals and Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Birdman

The film will be produced by Thomas Kufus of zero one film (Bauhaus, The People vs. Fritz Bauer), Leszek Bodzak and Aneta Hickinbotham of Aurum Film (Corpus Christi, Leave No Traces) and two-time Academy Award-nominated Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey at London-based Wildgaze Films (Brooklyn, An Education).

“We are thrilled to team up with Jan Komasa again, one of the most talented European directors of our time, to bring his new star-studded project to Cannes,” Tassilo Hallbauer, Beta Cinema’s Head of Sales & Acquisitions, says, “The story reflects on the collision of art and power, which couldn’t be more topical these days. However, the script’s tonality is outstanding, as the drama is giving way to black humor and subtle irony and leans heavily into neo noir thriller elements. August Diehl is a perfect match for this role as an ingenious, self-reflecting artist, who tears himself apart between integrity and bowing to the regime. And we can’t wait to see Andrea Riseborough in the multi-layered role of Nita.”

THE NOISE OF TIME is set to shoot in early 2025 with Beta Cinema launching pre-sales at the upcoming Marché du Film in Cannes. Beta Cinema’s office in Cannes is located right next to the Mondrian Hotel (formerly Grand Hotel), 45 Bd de la Croissette.