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‘Artist’ helmer goes on ‘Search’

Michel Hazanavicius says next project to be based on 1948 film

Rome– French helmer Michel Hazanavicius (“The Artist”) has announced that his next project will be a drama inspired by the 1948 Fred Zinnemann film “The Search,” but set in contempo war-torn Chechnya.

“The Search” is about a displaced mother’s tireless search for her son, a young Auschwitz survivor, in the aftermath of WW2.

“In the original film, the story revolved around a young boy who survived a concentration camp,” said Hazanavicius, speaking at the Capri, Hollywood fest in Italy, where he was feted.

“In my film, the focus will be on the special relationship between a woman and a young boy as well.”

Hazanavicius has attached his wife and “The Artist” co-star Berenice Bejo as the femme lead who works for an NGO in present-day Chechnya, a region in tatters after years of fighting for independence from Russia.

“The Artist” producer Thomas Langmann will produce the pic, which is in early development.

Announcing the project at the informal pre-awards shindig on the isle of Capri, Hazanavicius said the pic will be in color with dialogue, “totally different from ‘The Artist,’ ” which was silent and in black and white.

“The Artist” is nominated for six Golden Globes, including director and already tops many critics’ list.

After “The Artist,” Hazanavicius shot a segment of omnibus sex comedy “Les Infidels,” scheduled for release next month in Gaul via Mars Distribution.

Bejo will next shoot Gallic helmer Nicolas Bary’s adaptation of Daniel Pennac’s book, “The Scapegoat” (Au bonheur des ogres), also starring Emir Kusturica.

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