The Weinstein Company (TWC)and BBC Films will co-finance African wildlife feature The Meerkats, which is scheduled for a November shoot inthe Kalahari Desert.

TWC holds worldwide rightsand international chief Glen Basner and his team will introduce the projectto buyers here at AFM. For the first time BBC Films will collaborate withthe BBC Natural History Unit and jointly produce the picture, which willexplore the lives of a family of African plains meerkats and their dailystruggle for survival. James Honeyborne will direct.

"The Natural HistoryUnit is the best in the world at what they do and we're really thrilledto be working with them at last," BBC Films head David Thompsonsaid. "The film has huge emotional appeal and will really travel internationally.It's a great story, with a fantastic team behind it, and we hope thiswill be the start of a great partnership for the future."

"We are thrilled to becollaborating with BBC Films and the Natural History Unit on what will bea spectacular exploration into a fascinating territory in Africa,"TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein added.

Joe Oppenheimer and TrevorIngman will produce and BBC Natural History Unit head Neil Nightingaleand Thompson will serve as executive producers. TWC co-president ofproduction Michael Cole and director of development and production RhodriThomas will oversee the project on behalf of the company.

Basner's AFM slate also includes The Brothers Bloom from director Rian Johnson starring Rachel Weisz, and The Mayhem Project's first two pictures, horror title Clock Tower and dance drama Make It Happen.