Entertainment

Denis Villeneuve working on Footnotes in Gaza film

Genie-winning Canadian director Denis Villeneuve, most recently acclaimed for his searing drama Incendies, is working on adapting comic artist and journalist Joe Sacco's Footnotes in Gaza for film.

Animated feature inspired by Joe Sacco's graphic novel

Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, seen in 2011, is working on an cinematic adaptation of Joe Sacco's graphic novel Footnotes in Gaza. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters )

Genie-winning Canadian director Denis Villeneuve, most recently acclaimed for his searing drama Incendies, is working on adapting comic artist and journalist Joe Sacco's Footnotes in Gaza for film.

French production company Tu Vas Voir revealed details of the project, which has Quebec filmmaker Villeneuve co-writing and eventually directing an adaptation of Sacco's 2009 graphic novel.

"It took a long time for us to convince Joe Sacco that we were the right people to adapt the work," Tu Vas Voir producer Amiel Tenenbaum told industry publication Screen International.

"Joe was always adamant that it was important for him to have confidence in the director… from the beginning we'd had Denis in mind."

The film, slated to be a feature-length animation film inspired by Sacco's original drawings, is one of several projects to which Villeneuve is attached. He is also set to direct a big-budget U.S. thriller entitled Prisoners.

Villeneuve earned kudos for films such as Maelstrom and Polytechnique, but rose to international fame for Incendies, based on Wajdi Mouawad's play about siblings who travel to the Middle East to uncover secrets about their late mother. The 2010 film won a raft of Genie and Jutra awards, film festival honours and was a best foreign film Oscar contender.

In Footnotes in Gaza, Sacco delves into two mass killings of Palestinian civilians that took place in 1956. He juxtaposes the pair of forgotten tragedies against contemporary life in Gaza. The Maltese-American cartoonist and journalist is renowned for his illustrated explorations of conflict, including his celebrated graphic novels Palestine and Safe Area Gorazde.

Paris-based company Tu Vas Voir also produced the 2004 Walter Salles film Motorcycle Diaries.

Comic artist and journalist Joe Sacco, seen in Gaza in 2003, is known for his illustrated explorations of conflicts. (Khalil Hamra/Associated Press)

now