Terry Gilliam has cast nineyear-old Jodelle Ferland as the star in his upcoming Tideland, alongside a cast that includes US actress JenniferTilly and Janet McTeer and Brendan Fletcher.

Ferland is already somethingof veteran, having racked up a string of TV credits including KingdomHospital, Carrie and Wolf Lake since she started acting aged four. TheCanadian-born youngster will play Jeliza Rose, an abandoned girl who escapesfrom the harsh reality of her childhood into a fantasy life.

Shooting starts September 27for 10 weeks. Although Mitch Cullin's southern gothic novel, on which Gilliamand Tony Grisoni's script is based, is set in Texas, Gilliam will shoot inSaskatchewan in order to tap local financing.

UK-based Jeremy Thomas isproducing with backing from the Foresight Film Partnership in the UK, TelefilmCanada, Astral Media, The Canadian Television Fund and the Harold GreenbergFund in Canada. Gabriella Martinelli of Toronto-based Capri Films will act asco-producer.

"Terry and I have beendeveloping this project for many years and I am thrilled with the involvementof Gabriella Martinelli and Capri to realise this film in Canada," saidThomas.

Worldwide distribution isbeing handled by HanWay Films, with Capri Releasing distributing the film inCanada. Pre-sales include Bac for France and Tohokushinsha for Japan.

Nicola Pecorini is thedirector of photography, and Jasna Stefanovic the production designer. Thescript was developed with the assistance of the UK Film Council's DevelopmentFund.