By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood February 12, 2014 at 12:06PM
UPDATE: Natalie Portman began production on her first feature film as a director February 11 in Jerusalem. She's adapting celebrated Israeli author Amos Oz's 2002 autobiographical novel "A Tale of Love and Darkness," while also taking on the role of playing Oz's mentally ill mother.
Slawomir Idziak is the DP -- he shot "Blue" and "The Double Life of Veronique," both gorgeous, for the late Polish auteur Krysztof Kieswlowski. David Mandil ("Footnote") is producing.
EARLIER: Natalie Portman will make her feature directorial debut with an adaptation of Israeli author Amos Oz's 2002 autobiographical novel "A Tale of Love and Darkness," about his youth in war-torn Jerusalem in the 1940s and '50s. Per Israeli film officials, Portman has written the screenplay, and will star in the film as the troubled mother of the lead character.
Portman will reportedly head to Israel in October to cast local actors, with a production start planned in Jerusalem for early 2014. No word yet on whether the film will be in Hebrew or English.
Yoram Honig of the Jerusalem Film Fund is providing $400,000 for the project.
Portman has previously directed two short films; the first, "Eva," in 2008, and a segment of the 2009 omnibus, "New York, I Love You."