Ari Folman to Write, Direct Animated 'Anne Frank' Film

Ari Folman

The director of Oscar-nominated “Waltz With Bashir” and “The Congress” will adapt Frank's life and diary as a family-oriented animation feature.

Ari Folman, director of the Oscar-nominated Waltz With Bashir, is on board to write and direct an animated feature based on the life and famous diary of Anne Frank.

The project will be co-produced by new Belgian-based entity Purple Whale Films, which is co-owned by Folman's shingle, Bridgit Folman Film Gang, and Diana Elbaum's Belgian group, Entre Chien et Loup.

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The filmmakers have been granted complete access to all of the archives of the Anne Frank Fonds Basel, founded by Anne's father, Otto Frank, as well as to all the branches of the Anne Frank Fonds worldwide. Folman and Elbaum, who was a co-producer on Folman's latest, The Congress, negotiated the rights for the worldwide release on all media and in all languages for the new animated film. The Congress, a biting Hollywood satire set in a near-future world and starring Robin Wright, won the European Film Award for best animated feature on Saturday.

“Bringing the Anne Frank Diary to all screens is a fantastic opportunity and challenge,” Folman said. “There is a real need for new artistic material to keep the memory alive for younger generations.”

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The exploration of memory, trauma and history is nothing new for Folman, who excavated his own memories of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon to make Waltz With Bashir. He also created the En terapia, the Israeli TV series about psychoanaylsis adapted by HBO as In Therapy. But the move to more family-oriented material will be a new one for the Israeli writer/director.

Production is set to start in the winter of 2014. The project, similar to both Waltz with Bashir and The Congress, will likely be set up as a cross-border co-production with several European territories.