Harvey Keitel has signed on to star in true-life religious drama “Fatima,” which Arclight Films will introduce to buyers at the market in Cannes. Veteran Brazilian actress Sonia Braga is also set to star in the film.
“Cannes is the perfect place to introduce buyers to this heartfelt and timely film, whose main characters were just this week canonized by the pope,” Gary Hamilton, managing director of Arclight Films, said, adding: “The story of ‘Fatima’ is what real-life legends are made of.”
Based on a true story, “Fatima” tells the tale of three children who witnessed six apparitions of the Virgin Mary, who confided three secrets to them, in Portugal in 1917. Although their elders were skeptical, the Roman Catholic Church validated the children’s visions, and the town of Fatima became the country’s main pilgrimage site, now visited by more than five million people each year. Two of the three children were made saints by Pope Francis earlier this month.
Directed by Marco Pontecorvo, it will be produced by James T. Volk and Dick Lyles for Origin Entertainment, Frida Torresblanco for Braven Films, Rose Ganguzza for Rose Pictures and Natasha Howes. “Fatima” is currently in pre-production.
Keitel is set to re-team with Robert De Niro and director Martin Scorsese on the upcoming mob drama “The Irishman.” The trio previously worked together on Scorsese’s 1970s classics “Mean Streets” and “Taxi Driver.” The actor last worked with Scorsese on 1988’s controversial religious drama “The Last Temptation of Christ” and has starred alongside De Niro on seven occasions, most recently in Taylor Hackford’s “The Comedian.”
Keitel recently drew widespread acclaim for his role in Paolo Sorrentino’s “Youth,” with Michael Caine, which saw its world premiere in competition at Cannes in 2015. He was Oscar-nominated in 1991 for his supporting role in Barry Levinson’s “Bugsy.”
Keitel is repped by Saskia Mulder of The Artists Partnership. Braga is repped by Nikola Barlsic of Untitled Entertainment. Arclight Films is handling worldwide rights on “Fatima.”