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Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan are starring in the independent historical drama “Ammonite,” a story inspired by the life of fossil hunter Mary Anning.

The story is set in 1840s England, when Anning and a young woman sent to convalesce by the sea develop an intense relationship, altering both of their lives forever. Anning is credited with making key scientific discoveries in the Jurassic marine fossil beds in the cliffs along the English Channel.

Francis Lee is set to direct. Lee’s critically acclaimed freshman feature, gay Yorkshire romance “God’s Own Country,” premiered at Sundance in 2017 as the only British film in competition and won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Directing, as well as the prize for best film at the British Independent Film Awards.

“Ammonite” is a See-Saw Films production by Iain Canning and Emile Sherman, whose credits include “Widows,” “Lion” and “The King’s Speech, alongside Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly (“Lady Macbeth”). See-Saw developed the drama with the British Film Institute and BBC Films. Principal photography is set for March.

Winslet has been nominated for seven Academy Awards and won for Stephen Daldry’s 2008 “The Reader.” Ronan has been nominated for three Oscars, most recently for “Lady Bird,” and is playing the title role in awards contender “Mary Queen of Scots.”

The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.