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Natalie Portman Starts Shooting Feature Directing Debut 'A Tale of Love and Darkness' in Jerusalem UPDATED

Photo of Beth Hanna 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.
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Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman

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.

Natalie Portman directing on the set of 'Tale of Love and Darkness'
EPA Natalie Portman directing on the set of 'Tale of Love and Darkness'

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."

This article is related to: News, Natalie Portman, Natalie Portman, News, In The Works


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.