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Penelope Cruz to make directorial debut with film on childhood illness

AFP · 13 Oct 2015, 08:48

Published: 13 Oct 2015 08:48 GMT+02:00

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Oscar-winning actress Penelope Cruz, who plays a woman fighting breast cancer in her latest film "Ma Ma", has unveiled her new project dealing with the heartbreaking issue of childhood leukaemia.

"My goal is to raise awareness about this sensitive issue," the 41-year-old Spanish actress said at a news conference to unveil the project on Thursday, October 8th. 

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The documentary - Cruz's first - will tell the story of several children with leukaemia, or cancer of the blood cells, their parents and their doctors.

"I will soon meet the children. Some have beaten the disease, others are working on it. I will just be an observer and it will be they who tell the world what is happening," she said.

"Of course it will be hard because I will be spending time with many children who are dealing with this. They are children who are going to share with me how horrible what is happening is."

The actress said she hopes the documentary will encourage more people to work on research to find a cure for the rare disease.

"Everything that has to do with children if we can help, even if it is just a little bit, will make me very happy," said Cruz, who has two children with her husband, fellow Oscar winner Javier Bardem.

In Julio Medem's "Ma Ma" which opened in Spain last month Cruz plays Magda, a gutsy unemployed teacher with a young son who faces her cancer diagnosis with optimism and courage.

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Cruz rose to international prominence in 2001 with roles in Hollywood films "Vanilla Sky" and "Blow".

She won a best supporting actress Oscar for her role as an impetuous artist in Woody Allen's 2008 comedy "Vicky Cristina Barcelona".

"I will never give up acting. For me it is like a drug. I have stopped doing so many films because now I have a family," said Cruz.

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