Australian productioncompany Wild Strawberries has secured Ralph Fiennes to play the lead in itsfeature adaptation of 1999 Booker Prize winning novel Disgrace, writtenby J M Coetzee.

The politically chargedstory will be filmed in South Africa, where it is set. Fiennes will play atwice-divorced academic in Cape Town who retreats to his daughterHs farm inresponse to the fall out from an impulsive affair with a student.

Producer Anna-MariaMonticelli is now packaging Disgrace, which has her partner in WildStrawberries, Steve Jacobs, attached as director. She has self-financed fourdrafts of the script, which has been approved by Coetzee. The bi-lingualAustralian film La Spagnola, released locally in 2001, was the pairHsdebut film.

Coetzee was born in SouthAfrica and now lives in South Australia. Having previously won with The LifeAnd Times Of Michael K in 1983, he was the first author to win the Bookertwice. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 2003.

Ralph Fiennes (TheEnglish Patient, The End Of The Affair) starred opposite Cate Blanchett inthe Australian adaptation of 1988 Booker winner, Peter Careyys Oscar AndLucinda.