Jalla! Jalla! and Kops director Josef Faresis set to make Zozo, a drama inspired by his own life.
TheSwedish, Lebanese-born director will be working with a $5.2m (SEK 40m) budget -twice that of Kops - to tell the story of an 11-year-old boy who moves fromBeirut to Sweden.
Fares said: "It won't be autobiographical, but I will usea lot of what I remember from Beirut. It's a different and more dramatic storythan what I have done before. That doesn't mean it's dead serious though -there will be humour in this story too."
Fares came to Sweden with his family when he was ten andrecently travelled to Beirut for the first time in 16 years to look forlocations and re-acquaint himself with the city.
Shootingwill start in Sweden's Trollhattan at the end of August and will then continuein Beirut. Ingmar Bergman's former set designer, Academy Award winner Anna Asp,is in charge of production design.
LikeFares' previous films, Zozo is being produced by Anna Anthony of MemfisFilm.
Financingof the film has been fraught with difficulty because of uncertainty surroundingthe future of Swedish government film funding. However, the country's SwedishFilm Agreement has been prolonged for another year and a number of Swedishproductions, including Zozo, are back on track again.
"It's agreat relief. It would have been absurd if Josef hadn't been given the chanceto make a new film", said Anna Anthony, who is currently working on thecasting.
"Naturally,there won't be any well-known names in this film. We are looking for the boy, Zozo,in Beirut at the moment," Anthony told ScreenDaily.com.
Thepremiere is set for September 2005.