Geographic maps Chen pic, ‘Wolf’

Helmer takes on story of Amerasian boy in Vietnam

National Geographic Feature Films will produce the next project of director Joan Chen, as well as “Wolf B36,” a story adapted from a New York Times Magazine article by Sara Corbett.

Chen will direct “The Unwanted,” based on Kien Nguyen’s memoir about life as an Amerasian boy raised in communist Vietnam. Chen adapted the script with Geling Yan, with whom she wrote her directorial debut, “Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl.”

“As a child of the Cultural Revolution in China, I feel a special connection to Kien’s story,” Chen said. “I very much look forward to bringing this powerful story to the screen.”

“Wolf B36” is the tale of a female wolf that was among 66 wolves relocated to Idaho under the Endangered Species Act in 1995. When the wolves slaughter local livestock, a young field biologist gets caught up in a battle between environmentalists and ranchers determined to kill the wolves.

Documentarian Mark Lewis will make his feature directing debut on “Wolf,” working from a script he adapted with Corbett. He most recently directed the PBS doc “The National History of the Chicken,” which premiered at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival and was named one of the year’s top 10 TV programs by the New York Times.

NGFF chairman Jake Eberts and production president Christine Whitaker produce both “Unwanted” and “Wolf.”

NGFF’s first film, “K-19: The Widowmaker,” starred Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson and was released in July.

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