Liya Kebede, the Ethiopian-born supermodel, will soon begin work on her third film, an independent-film directed by German-American Sherry Hormann entitled "Desert Flower," a $16 million adaptation of Somalian supermodel, Waris Dirie's autobiography of the same name. Kebede previously had film roles in "The Good Shepherd" and "Lord of War."
Liya Kebede plays the lead role, starring as Waris Dirie in the film - set to launch in September 2009 in Germany. It chronicles Dirie's rise from a childhood in the Somali desert to the catwalks of the international fashion community and her role as a United Nations spokeswoman against female genital mutilation/circumsion - elements of which Kebede can relate to as a World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador and founder of The Liya Kebede Foundation.
Hundreds of young women were invited to casting calls in London, Paris, Kenya, South Africa, Los Angeles and New York before they decided on the Ethiopian supermodel to play Dirie as an adult.
Also, British Golden Globe award-winning actress Sally Hawkins (best known for her performance as Poppy in "Happy-Go-Lucky") is said to star in the film as well.
P.S. 3 fun facts about Waris Dirie: she was the face of Chanel Allure perfume, she appeared in the Pirelli calendar twice and she's Somalian supermodel, Iman's cousin.