International festival favourites Ken Loach, Ermanno Olmi and Abbas Kiarostami are teaming up to direct a single feature film entitled Tickets.

The three veteran directors co-wrote the screenplay, which takes place on a train from an Eastern European country to Rome's Termini station. The film is expected to start shooting on May 31st in Austria.

Unlike previous collaborations such as 11'09''01 - September 11, by Ken Loach, Danis Tanovic and Sean Penn, and the upcoming Eros, by Michelangelo Antonioni, Wong Kar-Wai, and Stephen Sodebergh, Tickets will not be an episodic film which sees each director responsible for a separate segment. Instead, Italian director Olmi, Britain's Loach and Iran's Kiarostami have all collaborated on the same screenplay and will each direct a part of the same film.

The feature is being produced by Domenico Procacci's Rome-based outfit, Fandango, also one of the producers behind Eros, together with the UK's Sixteen Films, and Kiarostami collaborator Babak Karimi.

Tickets was conceived by Carlo Cresto-Dina, who has produced a series of documentaries for Fandango about contemporary Italy. Cresto-Dina originally wanted three directors to make a documentary on a theme of their own choice, he told Italian daily La Repubblica.

However, Loach, Olmi and Kiarostami, who all have a background in documentary, said they would prefer to collaborate on a dramatic feature. Together, they decided to set the film on a train, where the protagonists, who each have their own problems, anxieties and hopes, meet for the first time.

Loach's Ae Fond Kiss and Olmi's Singing Behind The Screens both screened at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year. Meanwhile, Kiarostami's Dedicated To Ozu. is tipped for a place in competition in Cannes.