Vanessa Williams has signed to play the lead in Liberty Artistsand My Brother Productions' inner city drama Brother.

Williams will play a dying mother of two young boys who tries to put herchildren up for adoption. The experience forms an intense sibling bond as thebrothers grow into adults.

Fredro Starr and newcomer Nashawn Kearse also star, along with Rodney Henry,Donovan Jennings and Christopher Scott.

Filming is set to begin in New York this month with Anthony Lover in thedirector's chair. Gingi Rochelle, Leslieann Fouche and Gregory Segal areserving as producers, while Michael Malagiero, Michael Gruber and Steven Rock areserving as executive producers.

"We haven't anything against the Soul Plane genre or the 'gansta'movies, but we wanted to make a film to which people could bring theirchildren, a film that teaches about values all families, black and white, holdsacred," Rochelle said in a statement.

"The fact that two developmentally disabled African American actors will starin the film - well, we feel that just re-emphasises what we hope tocommunicate."