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Sarah Polley to write and direct Zoe Whittall’s The Best Kind of People

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Zoe_WhittallCanadian filmmaker Sarah Polley has optioned feature-film rights to Zoe Whittall’s bestselling 2016 novel, The Best Kind of People (House of Anansi).

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Polley – who adapted and executive-produced the forthcoming Netflix/CBC series based on Margaret Atwood’s novel Alias Grace – will write the screenplay and direct the adaptation. In the interview, Polley says, “I want to make The Best Kind of People into a film because I believe that, among other things, it is an urgent story about our assumptions about perpetrators and survivors in sexual assault cases. In these frightening times, I believe it is more important than ever to tell this tale of rape culture, and how a family and a community grapples with who should be believed, and how far empathy can stretch itself.”

The Best Kind of People, which was nominated for the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize, will be published in the U.S. with Ballantine Random House this fall.

Whittall’s deal was arranged by Paradigm on behalf of Samantha Haywood of Transatlantic Agency. Polley is repped by WME, Circle of Confusion, Gary Goddard Agency and Jackoway Tyerman, Wertheimer.