Megan Ellison and her Annapurna Pictures have come aboard to produce 20th Century Women, the next film from writer-director Mike Mills (Beginners, Thumbsucker). The period drama is about three very different women teaching a boy what men are, what women are, about love and freedom and finding your own form of sanity in 1979 Santa Barbara. When the boy’s mother takes in a male boarder, his worldview is further shaken by the man’s desire to understand and be loved by these seemingly unknowable women.

Archer Gray’s Anne Carey also will produce, as will Youree Henley.

Mike Mills“The film is an ode to the women who raised me: my mom, my sisters, the girls I was in love with or looked up to at school and in the punk rock scene where I really learned about the world,” Mills said in a statement. “These women were all so complicated and strong — all very funny, all fighting to find a way to be authentic, happy and free. All dealing with the complications of the new freedoms they were exploring.”

Mills earned Spirit Award nominee nominations for his first two features, 2005’s Thumbsucker and 2010’s Beginners. The latter won Christopher Plummer the Best Supporting Actor Oscar and Golden Globe trophies. Casting is underway for 20th Century Women, which shootst this year in Southern California.

Chris Corabi and Vanessa Fung negotiated the deal on behalf of Annapurna. Mills is repped by UTA.