Nigel Cole is to direct a film based on the Indian call centre phenomenon, which has seen a slew of UK corporations opening customer service operations in Delhi, and then training Indian workers to talk to callers about British weather, cricket and soaps.

The film, which has a working title of The Call Centre, will re-team Cole with Calendar Girls producers Harbour Pictures. Currently in development, the film is being scripted by Sanjeev Bhaskar, the UK comedian and star of hit comedy show The Kumars At Number 42.

A comic love story set in the UK and India, the film is being backed by Buena Vista International, which has a first look deal with Harbour Pictures.

"Nigel Cole is very good at punctuating poignancy with humour," said Harbour Pictures' Suzanne Mackie. "That's why Calendar Girls works."

Harbour Pictures made a splash on the Croisette with Calendar Girls, its first feature, which will be released in the UK on September 5. BVI will start the film's European rollout in October, and will release the film in the US on December 19.

Also in development with BVI is The Kinky Boot Factory, a true story about a man who sets up a fetish shoe factory in the Midlands when his traditional shoe factory goes out of business.

The film, scripted by Geoff Deane and co-produced by Peter Ettedgui, is likely to be Harbour's next picture.

"We're looking to attach a director in the next two months," said Harbour chief executive Nick Barton, "with pre pre-production starting in the autumn.

Another film in early development under the BVI deal is Millionaire Donkey, a film about a Donkey Sanctuary in Dorset that was left £13m, and another project to be written by Nigel Williams.

Outside of the BVI deal, David Mamet is attached to script Sleight Of Hand, a US-set period piece loosely based on the real life story of a turn-of-the-century magician and card-sharp. Ricky Jay is attached as consultant.

"It has elements of Chinatown and Bonnie And Clyde," said Nick Barton.

Harbour Pictures is also developing Flesh And Blood with BBC Films about an English deputy headteacher who is forced to become a drug dealer to help her heroin addict sons. The low budget film is being scripted by Justin Villiers.

Other projects in development include a feature based on the Channel 4 series that found amateur opera singers and gave them a part in Rigoletto.

"We're interested in the small everyday British stories with a set of emotions that can make it translate universally," says Mackie.