Julie Pacino and Jennifer DeLia’s production company began official discussions in Cannes on the project based on Eileen Whitfield’s biography Pickford: The Woman Who Made Hollywood.

DeLia will direct the film from a screenplay by Josh Fagin. Poverty Row is producing alongside Said Zahraoui and recently announced the casting of lead actress Lily Rabe.

Production is scheduled to begin in 2013 on the film, which will explore from a female perspective the life of the activist, actress and studio pioneer who founded United Artists with Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin and DW Griffith.

“Mary Pickford was one of the first independent producers and was the most powerful woman in the male-dominated Hollywood of her day,” DeLia said. “Universally loved, a fashion icon and the face of a multitude of products, she became the world’s first movie mega-star and most beloved icon, kicking off the still-thriving practice of celebrity worship.