Sony Pictures Classics has made a pre-emptive move on US, Latin American, Spanish and Japanese rights to Nigel Cole’s Made In Dagenham starring Sally Hawkins and Rosamund Pike.

Number 9 Films’ Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen are producing the film, inspired by a true story involving the 1968 strike at the Ford Dagenham car plant. William Ivory wrote the screenplay.

HanWay Films is handling worldwide sales and CEO Tim Haslam and the producers negotiated with Sony Pictures Classics.

Made In Dagenham was originally developed with funding from the UK Film Council, and the production is backed by BBC Films, BMS Finance, Lip Sync Productions and the UK Film Council.

The key cast includes Miranda Richardson, Bob Hoskins, Richard Schiff and Andrea Riseborough, who stars in the upcoming Brighton Rock.

The project is described as a rousing, “often hilarious” dramatisation of the industrial action in which female workers took the historic step of walking out in support of equal pay. Cole’s previous credits include Calendar Girls and Saving Grace.

“This is a project very close to our hearts and is a moving and emotionally rich film that will have an effect on both female and male viewers wherever it is shown,” Woolley and Karlsen said. “We are extremely excited to be reunited with the Sony Pictures Classics team, who we have worked closely with on many films over a thirty year period.”