The Diary of Anne Frank

BBC Drama has commissioned a new adaptation of The Diary Of Anne Frank, which will be shown in five episodes on consecutive nights early in 2008 on BBC One.

The drama is being made by Darlow Smithson Productions, whose previous work includes the highly acclaimed and award-winning drama documentary Touching The Void.

The adaptation is by Deborah Moggach, whose screenplay for the recent film version of Pride And Prejudice was nominated for a BAFTA.

The rights to The Diary Of Anne Frank rarely become available. Darlow Smithson Productions and the BBC have worked closely with the Anne Frank-Fonds, the charitable foundation promoting social and cultural projects in the spirit of Anne Frank, to ensure complete authenticity for the drama.

Anne Frank started to write her diary on her 13th birthday in June 1942 – just two weeks before she and her family were forced to go into hiding in Nazi-occupied Holland.

Written in the cramped conditions of an annexe in her father’s spice warehouse, Anne’s poignant, feisty and often very funny account of her life over a two-year period has become the most widely read piece of non-fiction apart from the Bible.

Anne will be played by young actress Ellie Kendrick; Anne’s father Otto by Iain Glen (Kingdom Of Heaven, City Of Vice); and mother Edith by Tamsin Greig (Love Soup, Green Wing). Felicity Jones (Cape Wrath, Northanger Abbey) will play Anne’s sister Margot Frank.

Ron Cook (Foyle’s War, Hot Fuzz) and Lesley Sharp (The Second Coming, Clocking Off) play Mr and Mrs Van Dann; with Kate Ashfield (Secret Smile, Tsunami: The Aftermath) as Miep; and Nicholas Farrell (Casualty 1906, Talk To Me) as Mr Dussell.

Speaking about the production, Commissioning Editor for the BBC Polly Hill says: “We are delighted to be bringing this fresh adaptation of The Diary Of Anne Frank to screen.

“Despite the horrors of the time and the ultimate tragedy of this family, Anne was a teenage girl, recognisable the world over, having to cope with the usual problems of growing up – albeit in extraordinary circumstances. We hope this drama will bring Anne alive to viewers of all generations.”

John Smithson, Executive Producer for Darlow Smithson, says: “The Diary Of Anne Frank is an intimate portrayal of a family living through the most horrifying times but yet managing to maintain a sense of hope.

“We want audiences to identify with all the characters in the story – particularly Anne, who, as a bright, funny, energetic teenager, still seems entirely modern today.”

The Diary Of Anne Frank has been commissioned for BBC One by Jane Tranter. It is being directed by Jon Jones who wrote and directed The Alan Clark Diaries for BBC Four and is being filmed throughout October.

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