Julie Christie has replacedVanessa Redgrave in the lead role of Sarah Polley's debut feature Away FromHer.

The veteran actress willstar opposite Gordon Pinsent and Olympia Dukakis in the Polley-pennedadaptation of the Alice Munro short-story "The Bear Came Over The Mountain."Kristen Thomson, who starred in Polley's short film I Shout Love, is also featured.

The story explores therelationship between an elderly husband and wife whose 50-year marriage hastaken its toll. Jennifer Weiss and Simone Urdl, who produced the short, returnas producers along with Danny Iron. Victoria Hirst of Victorious Films isco-producer while Atom Egoyan will executive produce.

Speaking with Screendaily,Polley said Christie had been her original vision for the lead role. She saidshe read the story in The New Yorker magazine on a flight from Iceland toCanada after shooting Hal Hartley's No Such Thing with Christie in 2000. "It was impossible to get herface out of my head."

Christie and Polley appeartogether in Isabel Coixet's Venice title The Secret Life Of Words, which makes its North American premiere in Sundance2006's Spectrum. Polley appears in two Sundance titles; the other is WimWenders' Don't Come Knocking,which makes its North America premiere in the Premieres section.

Production on Away FromHer is set to begin February 27 inlocations around southern Ontario; however, an absence of snow may force thewinter-set production to seek out locations further north.