Actress to star in drama about Uganda schoolgirls

Uma Thurman will topline indie drama “Girl Soldier” for Caspian Pictures, portraying a cleric who helped rescue 140 schoolgirls abducted in Uganda.

Producing are Diane Nabatoff (“Narc”), Allan Mindel (“My Own Private Idaho”) and Will Raee, with Raee to direct from a script by Stephanie Pinola and Karen Croner. Producers are eyeing a first-quarter shoot. Thurman’s also producing.

Story’s based on Kathy Cook’s book “Stolen Angels,” which follows the 1996 raid at a boarding school, where a band of armed rebels abducted young girls to turn them into soldiers and sex slaves.

A teacher at the school, Sister Caroline, tracked the rebels back to their camp to demand the girls’ release; 110 were returned to the nun, who then began a crusade over the next few years as she rallied parents, the government, the United Nations and the pope to aid in rescuing not only her own girls but other children in rebel captivity.

“This is a film that had to get made,” Thurman said. “It’s beyond me that in this day and age the exploitation of child soldiers goes virtually unnoticed and unchecked by Western media.””Girl Soldier” marks Pinola’s screenwriting debut. Croner’s credits include “One True Thing,” “Dexterity,” “Daughter of the Queen of Sheba” and “Tulia.”

Caspian Pictures was founded by Raee and Brian Bullock last year with the goal of making socially conscious and commercially viable films with mass audience appeal.

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