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A local group works on ‘The Grief of Others’

Leah Hager Cohen (right) with art director Owen Hope (left) and production designer Danny Madden, both Emerson grads, on the set.

Don Hamilton

Leah Hager Cohen (right) with art director Owen Hope (left) and production designer Danny Madden, both Emerson grads, on the set.

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Local author Leah Hager Cohen was in New York last week to watch her friend, MIT grad Patrick Wang, turn her book, “The Grief of Others,” into a movie. “It’s a little indescribable,” she said of watching her scenes come to life in front of a camera. “The Grief of Others,” which is about a couple struggling to move on after losing their child hours after birth, is filming this month in the NYC suburb of Nyack, but in many ways, it’s a Boston project. “[Actress] Wendy [Moniz] is from Massachusetts, Rachel Dratch is from Massachusetts, we have at least four Emerson grads on the crew,” said Wang, the film’s screenwriter and director. “It was a happy accident.” Cohen met Wang almost 15 years ago in Boston while he was starring in a production of M. Butterfly. Since then, they have been constant supporters of each other’s work. When Wang read “The Grief of Others,” he saw its movie potential. “A lot of it lived in dramatic space. You could feel the scenes,” he said. “Grief” will be Wang’s follow-up to “In the Family,” which was nominated for best first feature at the 2012 Independent Spirit Awards. Wang said, of choosing Cohen’s book for his second project, “At some point something flips. You have ideas. One of them just tells you, ‘Me. Now.’ ” Cohen, who also teaches at Lesley University and is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at Holy Cross, should be back in New England by now. She has a reading of her latest novel, “No Book but the World,” at RiverRun Bookstore in Portsmouth on Wednesday.

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