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Leena Pendharkar to adapt Ursula K Le Guin's novel The Telling for big screen

The Hollywood sci-fi film will star Indo-Canadian actress Rekha Sharma.

Filmmaker Leena Pendharkar and actress Rekha Sharma

Sonal Pandya

American writer Ursula K Le Guin's 2000 novel, The Telling, is being adapted for the big screen by filmmaker Leena Pendharkar.

Trade magazine The Hollywood Reporter wrote about the adaptation. Indo-Canadian actress Rekha Sharma, who is currently seen in the American television series Star Trek: Discovery, will be seen playing the lead, Sutty Dass.

Le Guin died on 22 January 2018, but had given her approval for the adaptation to producers Rizwan Virk and JD Seraphine before her death.

Virk, in a statement, said, "I’ve been a fan of Ursula K Le Guin’s science fiction and fantasy for many years. Our team had been working on the script for The Telling with her over the past few years, and we were extremely saddened to hear of her recent passing."

According to the film's synopsis in The Hollywood Reporter, Dass "travels from war-torn earth to the planet Aka, which has suppressed its rich culture in the march to technological advancement. While traveling, Sutty discovers the remnants of a banned religion and a hidden culture. As she moves deeper into the countryside and the desolate mountains, she learns more about the Telling — the old faith of the Akans — and more about herself."

The film, due to be released in 2019, explores the price paid for technological progress. Director Pendharkar tweeted about the project: "I have been adapting the @ursulaleguin novel TheTelling for the past 3 years, so excited to bring the project to the screen with @Rizstanford!"

Pendharkar's debut film Raspberry Magic (2010) was a coming-of-age tale. Her second film, 20 Weeks (2017), is a personal story about a couple whose unborn baby is diagnosed with a serious health condition at the 20 week scan. It is due to be released in the US theatrically this spring.

"I’m honoured to bring the work of one of science fiction's most esteemed writers to the screen especially in these times when strong female voices are needed. The Telling is a humanistic science fiction film about a woman trying to find her way in a culture overrun by technology," Pendharkar told The Hollywood Reporter.

The shoot of the adaptation will begin later this year.