EXCLUSIVE: There has been mass slaughter going on in the Western Sudan for years and outside of George Clooney using his celebrity (with his Dad) to draw attention to the atrocities, not much has been done in Hollywood. Now, a film is being made about the genocide based on an international bestselling book from Daoud Hari entitled The Translator. Ericson Core, who established himself as the cinematographer of The Fast and the Furious and then directed Disney’s Invincible and then the Alcon/Warner Bros.’ actioner Point Break, will helm this incredible story of one man who made a difference.
The book was a memoir by Hari (friends call him “David”) whose life has been one of courage — a man who has truly made a difference in the world by putting together an on-the-ground account of the genocide in Darfur. The project is being produced by Zero Gravity, Sixth Sense and Big Boy Films from an adaptation by Alex Graves.
With the Armenian genocide there was one journalist who was largely responsible for telling that story to the West. For the Irish, the stories were passed down through generations of what the British did to the people. The Jewish genocide was recorded on film, it was widely reported on and stories were also passed down through generations. Paul Rusesabagina’s story helped focus attention on the genocide in Rwanda through the Philip Gourevitch book We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families in 1998 (later made into the Terry George helmed movie Hotel Rwanda).
Hari, a Zaghawa tribesman who was among the hundreds of thousands attacked and driven from their homes by the Sudanese government, is (like Clooney) a messenger for the brutality that the people have suffered in Darfur.
Hari survived the government-fueled militia attacks and although his village was burned to the ground and his family was decimated and displaced, he found safety across the border. He then eagerly offered his services as a translator and a guide to make sure the West knew what was going and the brutality would be reported on. With his high school knowledge of languages, he went back into extreme danger, risking his life multiple times, so that the story of his people would be told, hoping all the while that there was still time to save them.
This heroes story is being produced specifically by Christine and Mark Holder (Zero Gravity) with Richard Harding and Sam Feuer. Priscilla Moralez is the executive producer.
Core who also directed for ABC — including the season finale for Of Kings and Prophets, is repped by The Gersh Agency. Graves is repped by WME.