Berlinale: Elle Fanning Takes Lead in
Photo by Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock

Elle Fanning is set to star in “Teen Spirit,” the directorial debut of actor Max Minghella, it was announced Friday. Fanning will play a shy teenager, living in a small European town, who dreams of pop stardom as a means of escaping her dismal surroundings and shattered family life. Minghella also wrote the screenplay.

The film, which was first announced at the end of January, is being introduced to buyers by international sales agent Mister Smith Ent. at the European Film Market during the Berlin Film Festival. CAA is arranging financing for the film and will represent North American distribution rights.

“It’s an absolute thrill to be collaborating with Elle on this project. Along with an extraordinary singing voice, she brings an emotional complexity to this character which is invaluable,” said Minghella.

Fanning, currently on screen in Mike Mills’ “20th Century Women” and Ben Affleck’s “Live by Night,” recently finished shooting Sofia Coppola’s remake of “The Beguiled.” She most recently starred alongside Logan Lerman in Shawn Christensen’s “Sidney Hall,” which saw its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival last month.

Other upcoming films include John Cameron Mitchell’s “How to Talk to Girls at Parties,” alongside “Beguiled” co-star Nicole Kidman, and the title role in Haifaa Al-Mansour’s “Mary Shelley,” opposite Douglas Booth. She is currently shooting crime thriller “Galveston,” directed by French actress-turned-director Melanie Laurent.

Fred Berger and Brian Kavanaugh-Jones serve as producers on the film with Jamie Bell, who developed the screenplay with Minghella, acting as executive producer. It is a co-production of Interscope Records, Automatik, and Blank Tape.

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