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- South Africa’s Cookie Jar Entertainment’s most recent film projects are based on books: Ella the Elephant and Peter Pepper’s Pet Spectacular. “We developed Ella with a Canadian partner, and we’re looking for presales,” Austen says. Peter Pepper has been greenlit for production this year as a joint venture with Clockwork Zoo in South Africa, the first Canadian-South African animation co-production where the work will not be subcontracted outside of either country.

- Ethiopian-born model Liya Kebede plays Dirie"Desert Flower," the best-selling book by former super model Waris Dirie, has been adapted for the big screen. German-US director Sherry Hormann hopes it will draw attention to the problem of female genital mutilation.