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.