Thesp following up 'Nelson' with Africa pic

Ryan Gosling is following up his Oscar acting nom for “Half Nelson” with a passion project: directing a feature about child soldiers in Africa.

Tentatively titled “The Lord’s Resistance Army,” pic will star nonpros and child soldiers, whom Gosling has helped find in East Africa.

Thesp, who is penning the script, has raised nearly all the necessary financing for the project.

Gosling has been barraged with offers for studio pics since his perf in “Half Nelson” began gaining traction. He’s set to star opposite Anthony Hopkins in New Line thriller “Fracture” and with Patricia Clarkson in MGM’s “Lars and the Real Girl.”

But one person familiar with the Africa project said the directorial gig is paramount. “He’s going to make this a priority before anything else,” insider said.

Child soldiers have been a hot media topic of late.

Starbucks’ second book selection last month was a memoir by Ishmael Beah, a former Sierra Leone conscript whose work also was excerpted in the New York Times Magazine. It also has featured in the storylines of pics such as “Blood Diamond.”

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