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Ben Hirsi to direct ‘Little Brides’

Yemen-set drama toplines Hafsia Herzi

ROME

British-born Yemeni helmer Bader Ben Hirsi will shoot “Little Brides,” a drama about child marriage in Yemen, with rising French star Hafsia Herzi and Paris-based Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani (“The Patience Stone”) on board.

London-based U.S. producer Billy Dietrich (“Good”) is producing.

Ben Hirsi said he will shoot in Morocco early next year, even though the film is set in a women’s shelter in Yemen, because political turbulence in the country makes it difficult for the pic to get insurance and, therefore, international finance.

“This is not an expose and it’s not a specifically Yemeni problem, but a global one with 60 million child brides right now,” the helmer added, describing the film.

Also on board “Little Brides” are cinematographer Thierry Arbogast (“The Fifth Element”) and film editor Francois Bonnot (“Frida”).

This will be Ben Hirsi’s second feature after his well-received 2005 “A New Day in Old Sana’a,” which won a slew of prizes and was the first feature to come out of Yemen.

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