The Manchester InternationalFestival has commissioned director Greg Hall and composer Steve Martland to create a new feature film that will premiere atthe inaugural festival in 2007.

Greg Hall's feature debut The Plague, a low-budget urban dramachampioned by Mike Leigh, will be released in UK cinemas on Oct 6. Martland'smusic has been used by the Sydney Opera House and the National Ballet Holland.

The commissioned film will "explorea number of traditional fairytales from diverse mythologies such as Norse andAboriginal - retelling them in a contemporary Mancuniansetting." The project will be unscripted and partially improvised withuntrained local actors in Manchesterlocations.

Festival Director Alex Poots said: "I was interested in Greg's innovative andgrassroots film-making and Steve Martland's powerfulmusical style and their idea to make a feature film about the stories ofpeople, whose lives are largely unseen and unheard. We'll find out what theyhave created at next year's Festival."

The Manchester International Festival - which will work across artssectors with new, original work, will be held June 28-July 15, 2007 and thereafter every two years.