Participant Media, Imagenation board adaptation of bestseller

Participant Media and Imagenation Abu Dhabi have pacted with DreamWorks to co-finance “The Help,” the film adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling novel.

Emma Stone and Viola Davis will star in the pic that is set in the South in the 1960s. Story centers on an aspiring writer (Stone) who turns her friends’ lives — and her whole Mississippi town — upside down when she embarks on a project to interview the household help.

Tate Taylor, a childhood friend of Stockett’s, penned the script and will also direct, with lensing set to begin this summer in and around Greenwood, Miss.

Participant president Ricky Strauss said the segregation-themed film is the kind of project the socially conscious financier is drawn to. “This emotional and inspiring tale brilliantly conveys how relationships and the human spirit can triumph over circumstances,” he said.

Los Angeles-based Participant typically creates social action and advocacy programs around its films in an effort to spur individuals and community orgs to action. The company’s films include “The Kite Runner,” “Charlie Wilson’s War,” “An Inconvenient Truth,” “Good Night, and Good Luck” and “The Soloist.”

Michael Barnathan, Chris Columbus and Mark Radcliffe of 1492 Pictures will produce “The Help” alongside Taylor and his producing partner, Brunson Green, of Harbinger Pictures. Disney will release “The Help” next year.

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