CirrusCommunications, the Montreal-based production company behind last year's smash C.R.A.Z.Y., has begun production on its nextfilm, the $6.4m action romance Nitro.

Directedby hot Quebec TV director Alain Desrochers from a screenplay by BenoitGuichard, the film takes its lead from the high-octane adrenalin rush of TheFast And The Furious,according to C.R.A.Z.Y. producer and Cirrus executive Pierre Even.

Thestory follows Max (Guillaume LeMay-Thiverge), a former street racer who has puthis law-busting hot-rodding past behind him. When Max's wife (Myriam Pallard)takes ill - with a literally broken heart - he has 48 hours to findher a new one. Even told Screendaily: 'It's arace against the clock, a race against death, the police, the five guys fromhis past chasing him, and then he runs into his ex-girlfriend' - in theshape of Lucie Laurier (Seducing Dr. Lewis). DoP Bruce Chun, who filmed current Quebecois hitBon Cop, Bad Cop,is behind the camera.

'Wedon't have the means of the Americans,' said Even, 'but that forces us to makeit better, with strong story and strong characters'. The film shoots in andaround Montreal. Alliance Atlantis Vivafilm has Canadian distribution rightswhile Cirrus is handling world sales.