Pippi Longstocking author's life becomes film: daughter

Two German production companies are preparing to make the first feature-length film about the life of Sweden's most popular children's book author, Pippi Longstocking creator Astrid Lindgren, her daughter told AFP.

German production companies Ogglies Film Production and TV 60 Film are planning to make the film about Lindgren's early years, up until her breakthrough with Pippi Longstocking in 1946, Karin Nyman said.

"They were the first film producers to contact me wanting to make a film about my mother's life, and I immediately said yes to working with them," she said.

Lindgren, who died in 2002, is famous for creating such characters as Emil of Maple Hill, Madicken, Karlsson-on-the-Roof, Ronia the Robber's Daughter, and especially Pippi.

Her books about "the strongest girl in the world", an impish, cheeky nine-year-old who wears fire-red pigtails braided so tight they stick straight out and who lives with her horse and her monkey, Mr. Nilsson, have been translated into 95 languages.

The planned two-part television film about her life will however focus on the difficult years before she rose to fame, with the main focus likely to be on her unplanned pregnancy at the age of 18.

Lindgren, who had been working as a reporter for a local newspaper in the southern Swedish town of Vimmerby when she got pregnant with her married chief editor, often talked about how becoming a single mother early in life had affected her as a person and as a writer.

Nyman said she would be involved in the first part of the film-making process as a consultant, and that she was in the process of reading and commenting on manuscript drafts written by acclaimed German script writer Benedickt Roeskau.

"It is actually kind of nice that Germans rather than Swedes are making the film, because that way the story will be a bit more distanced. It will be obvious that it is not an actual documentary about my mother," she said.

"I don't think it is possible to give an absolute accurate image of a person and say 'this is what (she) was like'," she added.

It was still too early to say who would direct and act in the film, she said.

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