Award-winning screenwriter/director Eva Lanska has announced that she will soon unveil the script for her new drama feature I Am Not An Actress, inspired by the public life and animal rights advocacy of French personality and activist Brigitte Bardot.
Bardot became a global icon after appearing in the 1956 Roger Vadim film, And God Created Woman.
“Over the years, Madame Bardot has been frequently covered in the French and global media for her strong opinions,” says London-based Lanska. “In some ways, I’m writing a script inspired by her life so that both her critics and admirers can better understand her and her activism.”
Personally inspired by Bardot’s life since childhood, Lanska, who resembles a younger Bardot, has been shepherding this passion project since 2008. As an animal rights activist herself, Lanska draws from public aspects of Madame Bardot’s life, whose priority she notes is “always to defend the rights of animals.”
She shares that her primary narrative aims to raise awareness of two major current social problems – harassment and toxic masculinity in the film industry and animal abuse around the world.
Lanska is no stranger to raising issues in her projects. She poses pressing questions to direct her audience to reflect on the choices to be made, putting themselves in the shoes of her protagonists.
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Her previous film, Little French Fish, starring British actors Jonas Khan and Devora Wilde, draws attention to the global stigma against interracial marriages through the relationship of an Orthodox Jewish woman and a Muslim man. The film follows the lives of an intercultural couple falling in love while dealing with the pressure of historical conflicts and strict social codes.
In 2020, Little French Fish was selected by one of the world’s oldest and largest Jewish festivals, the Washington Jewish Film Festival. Her other film, Okay, Mum, won Best Picture at the Los Angeles Film Festival and was selected for the Short Film Corner at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.
Lanska says her script is almost completed, and she says it will likely not be a biopic about the iconic actress, even if Madame Bardot gives the project her blessing, because it includes composite characters.
In 2019, Bardot was accused of racist remarks regarding comments she made about the people of Réunion Island in a letter on animal rights.
Réunion is in the southern Indian Ocean, to the east of Madagascar, known for its volcanoes, coral reefs, rainforest and beaches.
The then 84-year-old retired actress turned animal rights activist described the residents of the French Indian Ocean island as having “savage genes” and “degenerate” in an open letter to local authorities, while she criticized religious festivals which she said involve “beheadings of goats” and animals being thrown into the sea to attract sharks.
In the letter, which was sent on Tuesday, she described Réunion as a “demonic island” and said, “the natives have kept their savage genes.”
A spokeswoman for Lanska says the writer/director is currently in negotiations with major film production companies in the United States and Europe to finance and distribute.
Colin Costello is the West Coast Editor of Reel 360. He covers news relevant to advertising, film, TV, production and all things superheroes. Contact him at [email protected].