According to Variety, Stockard Channing will make her feature directorial debut on The Joy of Funerals, based on the short story collection by Alix Strauss. Fortress Entertainment is producing with Liberty Films, Diana Kerew Prods. and Channing.

Strauss, a New York-based journalist and novelist, is penning the script.

Tentative start date on the pic is next spring, Channing's first hiatus after filming the CBS sitcom "Out of Practice," which bows this fall.

Pic will chronicle the darkly comic misadventures of Nina, a thirtysomething New Yorker, who, looking for love in all the wrong places, crashes the funerals of total strangers.

Channing currently stars in Warner Bros.' romantic comedy Must Love Dogs alongside John Cusack and Diane Lane. She also stars in the Sundance pic Loggerheads with Elizabeth Perkins. Thesp had been looking for material to direct when Gernon and Kerew approached her with Joy of Funerals.

Evan Jacobs