Wim wends way to Sicily for 'Palermo'

5:00 AM PST 05/15/2007 by Eric J. Lyman, AP

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MILAN -- Award-winning German director Wim Wenders on Monday said that he is beginning work on "Palermo Story," a drama based on a Sicilian love affair between a middle-aged German man and a younger local girl.

Wenders, an Oscar nominee for his 2000 documentary "Buena Vista Social Club," announced the plans for the film in Palermo, his first visit to the city in nearly 40 years. His announcement was short on details, but he did say that the story was only partially written and the cast has not yet been selected. He plans to start shooting in September or October.

Funded partially with cash from the Sicilian Regional Film Commission along with the regional government and tourist boards, Wenders said that the story will strongly reflect its location.

"I want this city (Palermo) to tell me its story," Wenders said, adding that the cast will be comprised of a mix of local and foreign actors.

The municipal government in Palermo issued a statement Monday saying it considered the filming of the new Wenders film the "cultural highlight" of the year for the city.

Wenders will be spending a lot of time in Italy toward the end of this year. In addition to the shooting of "Palermo Story" in Sicily, the director will be honored with a special retrospective at the Turin International Film Festival in November.
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