Lionsgate has bought US rights to Sarah Polley's directorial debutAway From Herfollowing its world premiere earlier in the festival.

The company plans to release the picture, which stars JulieChristie and Gordon Pinsent, in spring 2007.

The adaptation of Alice Munro's short story The Bear Came OverThe Mountain deals withrevelations that emerge when a seemingly idyllic marriage is affected byAlzheimer's.

A heavy Lionsgate contingent led by president of acquisitions andco-productions Peter Block, president of theatrical films Tom Ortenberg, seniorvice president of acquisitions Jason Constantine, and vice president ofacquisitions Eda Kowan, negotiated the deal with William Morris Independent andproducer Danny Iron on behalf of the filmmakers.

"It is an honour to be working with Sarah on her wonderfullyaccomplished feature writing and directing debut," Ortenberg said, addingthat the company felt it would be an early contender in next year's awards aseason.

"We were blown away by Lionsgate's enthusiasm for the film, andare completely thrilled by the prospect of working with them," Polley added.

HanWay Films is handling international sales and has alreadyconcluded deals in 26 other territories.

The Film Farm and Foundry Films production in association withCapri Releasing, HanWay Films and Echo Lake Productions was produced by DanielIron, Simone Urdl, and Jennifer Weiss. Atom Egoyan and Doug Mankoff served asexecutive producers.