Pan Nalin has signed on to direct Buddha for Barnet Bain Films, which previouslyproduced The Celestine Prophecy and What Dreams May Come.

Buddhatells the story of Siddhartha, who was born into a wealthy family and renouncedworldly possessions to seek ultimate truth and enlightenment.

Buddhawill be filmed in Sanskrit and shooting is set to begin in spring 2007 in Indiaand Nepal.

Barnet Bain and Nalin are producing Buddha from an original scriptby Nalin and co-producer Tinker Lindsay.

"Buddha is the result of many years of personal passion andresearch," Nalin said. "It's a very human story. No miracles, nodivine interventions, just true-to-life characters. Emotion drives this story."The producers say they are paying scrupulous attention to period detail.

"There's a role to be played in these tough, tough times fortolerant religious values, and this film of Nalin's can make a difference, not onlyto the world's 400 million Buddhists, but to spiritual seekers everywhere,"Bain said.

Nalin's credits include the romance Samsara and the $6m European co-production ValleyOf Flowers, which getsits international launch in early 2007.