The Australian Film Finance Corporation (FFC) has approved investment in The Tracker, described as "an Australian western with attitude", according to writer-director Rolf de Heer, who is also producing the film alongside Julie Ryan.

Principal photography on the film, which is set in the 1920s, begins on February 26 next year under de Heer's Vertigo Productions banner. It will shoot in and around Arkaroola at the top end of the Flinders Ranges north of Adelaide.

The low-budget film is unusual in that it has received some of its financing from the Adelaide Festival of Arts. It is expected that the full film component of the programme, which represents a new addition to the festival, will be announced in the next few days by organisers.

Other equity investors in The Tracker are the South Australian Film Corporation and SBS Independent, the production arm of the multicultural broadcaster SBS. De Heer's regular international agent Intra Films will handle all sales except in Australia where Globe Entertainment has signed on as distributor. The Premium Movie Partnership has bought Australian pay-TV rights.

De Heer recently finished The Old Man Who Read Love Stories, which was fully financed from outside Australia and is being handled internationally by Pandora.