Richardson finds ‘Haven’

Couture, Gray collaborate on WWII drama

MONTREAL — Natasha Richardson is set to topline the World War II-era miniseries “Haven,” to be produced by Alliance Atlantis subsid Citadel Entertainment and broadcast in the U.S. on CBS.

The four-hour mini was penned by Toronto-based writer Suzette Couture (“Jesus,” Canuck drama series “The City”) and will be directed by John Gray (“The Hunley”).

“Haven” is based on the experiences of Ruth Gruber, a young Jewish U.S. government official who, in 1944, helped several hundred Holocaust survivors escape from Nazi-dominated Europe to find refuge in the small town of Oswego, N.Y. It is based on Gruber’s autobiography, “Haven: The Dramatic Story of 1,000 World War II Refugees and How They Came to America.”

“It really is a compelling story that needs to be told,” Citadel Entertainment prexy Judy Ranan said. “Ruth Gruber is such an extraordinary lady, and this is an important, albeit unknown, part of American history. We are extremely excited to bring this story to audiences.”

Lensing on the project began this week in Toronto and continues until mid-August in and around the Canadian city. Richardson plays Gruber. The cast also includes Colm Feore (“The Insider”), Henry Czerny (“Mission: Impossible”), Amanda Plummer (“Pulp Fiction”) and Anne Bancroft and Martin Landau as Gruber’s parents.

Citadel is producing the mini in association with Paulette Breen Prods., with Alliance Atlantis taking care of worldwide distribution. Executive producers are Alliance Atlantis Television Productions president Peter Sussman, Paulette Breen (“Down Will Come Baby”) and Dan Paulson (“Best Friends for Life”), with Mark Winemaker (“Flowers for Algernon”) producing.

Alliance Atlantis has yet to sell the miniseries to a Canuck broadcaster.

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