BEIRUT — Salma Hayek said on Monday that the animated feature film “The Prophet” she co-produced has been a personal passion project, one she hopes can inspire young viewers to think outside the box about ways to improve the world.

Hayek is visiting Lebanon, her ancestral homeland, for the international premiere of the film, written and directed by Roger Allers, the maker of the Disney production “The Lion King.”

Hayek said that the movie has a “message of peace.”

“I think the whole world could use a little bit of message of peace, and more than a message of peace, to watch something that’s uplifting for the spirit and joyous, and that you can share with your family, ” Hayek said as she walked down the red carpet for the movie premiere in a downtown Beirut cinema complex.

The film tells the story of Almitra, a young girl who finds the voice she lost through her friendship with Mustafa, a poet imprisoned for his ideas. Hayek also provides the voice of the girl’s mother, Kamila.

The story is based on the “The Prophet,” a book written in 1923 by iconic Lebanese writer Khalil Gibran that has inspired generations of artists. The book, a series of poems about love, joy, sorrow, and work, has been translated into at least 40 languages and has never been out of print.

Speaking to reporters Monday, Hayek, whose paternal grandparents are Lebanese, described the film as “a love letter to my heritage” that will hopefully encourage new generations to think differently.