Penelope Ann Miller has agreed to star in “The Family Bloom,” an independent feature that marks the directing debut of Craig Saavedra, president of Becker FilmWorks, who’s also producing. Pic starts production April 7.

Miller, who just starred in the Paramount horror pic “The Relic,” plays a woman who’s in danger of becoming a relic herself after sacrificing five years of her life to care for her widowed brother and his children. Her life is then turned upside down when he falls in love and wants to remarry. The script is by Eric Tuchman, who’s a head writer on “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” and scripted the animated Fox Family Film “Anastasia.”

“She’s an artist living at home with the brother, who feels obligated to raise the children because his wife was her best friend,” Miller said. “She comes into her own and needs to separate from his family to have her own love life, and also to allow the brother to take responsibility for his own family and his children.”

The film’s $5 million budget is being financed wholly by the Australian-based Becker Group Ltd. REP Releasing is distributing in Australia and New Zealand, and Saavedra said talks are ongoing for a domestic distributor. Saavedra is now putting together the cast around Miller.

Miller is doing her second straight indie film, coming off “Little City.” She just completed a starring role in the upcoming six-hour CBS miniseries adaptation of Mario Puzo’s “The Last Don,” and is working on her first sitcom vehicle, which she’ll produce at CBS with her longtime manager, Jo An Kincaid.

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