Egyptian company The Good News Group goes into production on The Baby Doll Night, a shoot set to trump their previous hit The Yacoubian Building in scale and budget. The $5m production is the most expensive Egyptian film to date.

Shooting begins in Cairo on September 22, followed by a 12-15 day stint in New York, Washington and various locations in Canada from October 10.

The huge cast and international crew then move on to Turkey and back to Egypt; post-production will be in France.

Good News' managing director Adel Adeeb directs from on a screenplay by his father, the celebrated Cairo Station (1958) scriptwriter Abdel Hay Adeeb, who died this year.

'This is the most sophisticated, most international production to come out of Egypt,' Adeeb told Screendaily. 'We wanted to make this film as a tribute to my father, and we're chasing Cannes, hence the urgency.'

Baby Doll Night is a comedy covering the course of one night in 2008. 'The film will be controversial - it takes in Iraq, Palestine, Israel and 9/11, from the Arab point of view - but the politics is in the background,' said Adeeb.

The film's executive producers include French DoP and producer Daniel Champagnon, who worked with Roman Polanski on The Pianist (2002) and Oliver Twist (2005).

'Baby Doll Night touches not only recent political differences between East and West but 60 years of conflicts, gathering Egypt's and the Arab world's biggest stars,' said Nour El Tonny, Good News' Director of Sales & Distribution.

Adeeb's line-up includes Egyptian celebrities Mahmoud Abdl Aziz, Nour El Sherif, Yousra and Layla Oloui, among Syrian, Lebanese, Tunisian and Turkish stars.

The two-hour comedy will be shot by British DoP Hong Manley.

Lead character Hossam returns home to Cairo for New Year's Eve after a year's separation from his wife. At the airport, his plans for a romantic night (and to conceive a child) are thwarted by events, including a terrorist plot, that bring on flashbacks to historical conflicts.

From The Yacoubian Building's success (the film took $3.4m locally), Adeeb raised the budget within Egypt. 'We're looking into bringing co-producers on board, and are in discussions with a partner in Canada. The budget is not an issue now, but we'd welcome support from co-producers,' said the director.

In development, Good News has Osama Bin Laden/Ayman el-Zawhiri themed film Al Qaeda, a $12m biopic Mohammad Ali Pasha, and Yacoubian Building director Marwan Hamed's second feature Ibrahim Al Abyad, co-produced with France's BAC Films.