In a story from Variety director Julian Schnabel has nabbed Palestinian actor Hiam Abbas to star in Miral. The film takes a look at the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The film will be an adaptation of Rula Jebreal's true life book about Hind Husseini. She started the Dar Al-Tifl orphanage in Jerusalem in 1948 when Palestine was partitioned and the state of Israel was formed. The film will start in 1948 and end in 1994.

The screenplay is already written and Schnabel is currently getting everything else together. The director cites recent happenings in that part of the Middle East as making the film that much more relevant. The director also plans to shoot the movie entirely in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

The film is set to start shooting on April 19.

"So far we've only had 100% enthusiasm from the Israelis, Palestinians, Arabs, Muslim and Jews we've been talking to about the project," stated producer Jon Kilik . "The issue of the Palestinians and the Israelis is really at the forefront of so much of contemporary life here and beyond."

Evan Jacobs