Dutch actress Carice van Houten will play the lead role in the biopic Smoke and Ochre about revolutionary South-African writer Ingrid Jonker. Dutch company Riba Film is developing the project, which will shoot in 2008.

Dutch director Paula van der Oest is directing the project, which will be her first English-language feature after previous films including Oscar nominated Zus & Zo.

Riba is the lead producer on the Euros 7m project, and co-producers are German Pandora Film and South African Unital Film. The UK's Future Films may also come on board.

Jonker was a well-known and acclaimed white poet living in the South Africa of the 1950s and 1960s. Her mother went mad and died young, while her father - who rejected her and left her to be raised by black servants - rose within the ranks of the apartheid government.

The film has been presented at Rotterdam's 2005 Cinemart with Dutch director Willem van de Sande Bakhuyzen. Later that year, the 47-year old filmmaker passed away of cancer.

Before Smoke and Ochre, Van Houten stars in Dorothy Mills, a new psychological thriller by Agnes Merlet.