Canadian auteur Atom Egoyan is set to shoot his next project Adoration in September with Robert Lantos of Serendipity Point Pictures as executive producer.

The film will be produced by Egoyan's long-time assistant Simone Urdl and her partner Jennifer Weiss of Toronto-based Film Farm, producers of Sarah Polley's Away From Her.

Sales will be through Lantos' fledgling (and as yet unnamed) distribution business headed by former Dreamachine executive Charlotte Mickie.

Budgeted at $4.7m, the story is set in the near-future and involves a high school student who creates an online avatar that stimulates a real-life community of mourners for a fictional catastrophe. Casting has yet to be announced.

Egoyan first discussed the picture at Cannes and has since described the project in more detail to the Los Angeles Times.

'Adoration's' basically about kids redefining themselves through the Internet,' Egoyan told the paper. 'This whole phenomenon of being one personality in school and being able to use technology to create a whole alternate identity.'

In researching the project, Egoyan set up distant linkages between Toronto high schools labs that allowed remote video interaction between students.

'When I started exploring technology in the 1980s, I always thought that these instruments distanced us from each other,' said the director. 'But now I realize actually it's about putting us way closer to each other than we ever would have expected.'