New Cancon film projects: Polley adapting Atwood, Boyden adapting Haida manga, Trailer Park Boys

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      Canadian actor and director Sarah Polley is returning to literary inspiration from a Canadian author.

      Polley's next project sees her drawing from Margaret Atwood's Giller Prize–winning historical novel Alias Grace, based on the true story of a notorious Canadian double murder. In the 19th century, Grace Marks, a 16-year-old housemaid, was convicted and jailed for killing her employer and his housekeeper, who was also his lover.

      Polley impressed critics and audiences with her 2006 directorial debut Away From Her, an adaptation of the Alice Munro short story "The Bear Came Over the Mountain". Polley was nominated for a best adapted screenplay Oscar and she won the best director, best adapted screenplay, and the Claude Jutra Award at the Genies. (Julie Christie was nominated for a best actress and the film won a total of seven Genies, including best motion picture.)

      Polley wrote her own original screenplay for her second feature, Take This Waltz starring Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen.

      Her recent acting credits include Bruce McDonald's Trigger and Vincenzo Natali's sci-fi horror Splice.

      Astral's Harold Greenberg Fund will be financing the film with $21,000. It's one of 29 projects being backed by the fund, including Natali's next thriller Nobody, an adaptation of a 1999 Japanese action-thriller by Shundo Ohkawa; Paul Haggis' Paris, a politically motivated drama; and Defendor director Peter Stebbings' Empire of Dirt, a drama about First Nations families.

      In other literary adaptation news, Giller Prize–winning author Joseph Boyden (Through Black Spruce, Three Day Road) is debuting as a screenwriter by adapting Red, a Haida manga by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, into a screenplay.

      Fans of the Trailer Park Boys will be pleased to hear that the boys are back with a mockumentary, Race Dicks, about international drivers competing in the Newfoundland Targa. (Robb Wells, John Paul Tremblay, and Mike Smith will play themselves.)

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