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Swank to star in Curtis malaria film

Hilary Swank will co-star with Brenda Blethyn in Richard Curtis’s new film about women who lose their children to malaria. The film will be made by Working Title for broadcast by the BBC in the UK and HBO in America.

Curtis said that the film was inspired by his work with the Comic Relief charity. "Over the years working with Comic Relief, I have come across the tragedy of the startling number of lives taken by malaria every year," he said. "This film gives me a chance to write about that too – as well as working with a team of people I hugely admire."

The majority of those who die from malaria are black African children, but Curtis’s film will focus on the children of white Western women played by Blethyn and Swank. Presumably commercial interests dictated that. At least the film looks likely to raise awareness of the issue.

"I've always wanted to write a film about the fact that when you have children, there's always the possibility of extreme joy and extreme sorrow," Curtis said.

The film will be directed by Philip Noyce, acclaimed for Rabbit-Proof Fence. Swank was keen to work with the director. "When he shared with me this extraordinary story and I read Richard's beautiful script," she said, "I was inspired by the creative possibilities of working with them and Working Title to tell this remarkable journey of two women from completely different worlds who collided then forged an unbreakable friendship full of humour and grace."

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