Swedish filmmaker Ruben Ostlund and the cast of ‘Triangle of Sadness’ convened for the first time since the sudden, shocking death of the film’s young star Charlbi Dean. The satirical dark comedy, which won the Palme d’Or in Cannes just four months ago, had its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Tuesday night — just 15 days since the 32-year-old Dean died of an unexpected illness in New York on August 29.
“It’s a very emotional screening for us because of Charlbi Dean, our colleague, one of the main actors who passed away 15 days ago.”
“We wanted her to be here, by our side, to share in this fantastic moment,” said Ostlund during his introduction for the screening. He was joined on stage by stars Harris Dickinson and Dolly De Leon, who were clearly moved by the moment and hugged one another.
“I want to say a couple of words about Charlbi,” the director continued.
“She was a very caring colleague and a person who was lifting up everybody on set and bringing out the best of everyone. You will also see that she was a very, very precise actress. So take a close look at her performance in this film.”
“The three of us want to dedicate this screening to her family and to Charlbi, in order to pay honour to her work,” said Ostlund.
“I’m 100 per cent sure that Charlbi would like us to have a really fantastic night here. This would be an important night for her also, to present the film to the North American audience.”
At the time of her death, Dean was reported to be suffering from a chest infection. An official cause of death has yet to be disclosed.
‘Triangle of Sadness’ marked Dean’s first major film role. The South African model and actor starred alongside Dickinson as a high-fashion, celebrity couple who are invited on a cruise for the ultra-rich, which at first seems like paradise to the wealthy, social media influencers.
However, they soon discover that their shipmates include a Russian oligarch, a British arms dealer and other criminals. The power dynamic shifts aboard the ship and class conflict emerges.
On Tuesday, Dickinson paid tribute to Dean in a social media post, writing that “in the short time we knew and worked with each other, you made a huge impact.”
“Kind and generous in ways people only hope to be. I’ll miss you friend. See you on the other side,” wrote the British actor.
Filipina actor De Leon, the film’s breakout star, honored Dean days after her death in a lengthy Instagram post: “This big, gaping hole in my heart may never mend. It hurts so so much and I’ll never be ready to say goodbye. So I’ll just see you around the corner. In the meantime, don’t finish all the fries and chocolates, okay? Save some for me.”
The crowd-pleasing ‘Triangle of Sadness’ was a hit at the Cannes Film Festival and is set to be released in the US on October 8.
Neon swooped for the film for around $8 million in a competitive market that also involved buyers such as A24. After Toronto, “Triangle of Sadness” will also screen at the New York Film Festival.
As Sweden’s leading contemporary filmmaker and producer, Ostlund’s previous films include ‘Force Majeure’ in 2014 and ‘The Square’, which won the Palme d’Or in 2017.
‘Triangle of Sadness’ marks his English-language debut.