Okinawa International Film Festival

Siegel-Magness on board to direct

Precious” producer Sarah Siegel-Magness will direct historical drama “Castro’s Daughter,” replacing “Il Postinodirector Michael Radford.

Siegel-Magness will also produce through her Smokewood Entertainment banner along with Mankind Entertainment ’s John Martinez O’Felan and Joe Lamy. The screenplay, described as a coming-of-age story, was written by Bobby Moresco (“Crash”) and and Nilo Cruz, author of the Pulitzer Prize-wining play “Anna in the Tropics.”

Fernandez was born in 1956 to Fidel Castro, three years before he took power. She fled Cuba as a dissident in 1993 disguised as a Spanish tourist and later wrote her memoir “Castro’s Daughter: An Exile’s Memoir of Cuba.”

Fernandez currently has a Miami-based radio show “Simplemente Alina.”

Cruz, a Cuban native whose family left Cuba in 1970, is co-producing and will consult with Siegel-Magness.

“Alina Fernandez is an unsung hero who has carried the invisible flag for freedom and democracy,” Siegel-Magness said.

The deal was closed in Toronto prior to the Toronto Intl. Film Festival, which starts Thursday. Producers are aiming to start shooting next year.

Siegel-Magness directed “Crazy Kind of Love,” starring Virginia Madsen.

Mankind Entertainment is also developing a feature version of  “Anna in the Tropics.” Lee Daniels, who directed “‘Precious” and “The Butler” developed the screenplay with Cruz.

Radford came on board the project in June, 2011.

SEE ALSO: ‘Il Postino’ director finds ‘Daughter’

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