Vince Colosimo (Lantana,Chopper) and Jacqueline McKenzie (RomperStomper, Angel Baby) are to star in director Peter Cattaneo's UK/Australianco-production Pobby And Dingan forsales agent Renaissance Films.

The drama starts its eight-week shoot from August 19. Thesetting is the remote Australian opal town of Coober Pedy and filming will alsotake place in the city of Adelaide. The producers are Lizie Gower and NickMorris from the UK's Academy Films, and Emile Sherman from Australia's ShermanPictures Production.

The BBC holds UK rights and Icon will distribute inAustralia. A number of other pre-sales have been made in key territories. Theinvestors include BBC Films and the UK Film Council's Premiere Fund, inassociation with the South Australian Film Corporation.

The title characters are the imaginary friends of Kellyanne,the nine-year-old daughter of an opal miner, and when they really do disappearit has a big impact on the whole town. The story is told through the eyes ofKellyanne's 11-year-old brother Ashmol.

Peter Cattaneo, who directed The Full Monty, adapted PobbyAnd Dingan from a novella of the same name by Ben Rice, working with theauthor and also Phil Trail. The book won the Somerset Maughan Award in 2001.

The director of photography is Robert Humphreys (Somersault), costume designer Ruth de laLande (Rabbit-Proof Fence) and editorJim Clark (The Killing Fields). Theexecutive producers are Angus Finney, Robert Jones, David Thompson, Ben Riceand Finola Dwyer.