High Point Films has taken on international rights for Irish family feature The Race, currently in pre-production.

Andre F Nebe, who directed the award-winning short Tricky Fingers, will direct. Michael Garland and Paul Donovan of Grand Pictures (Nic Roeg's Puffball) will produce with Germany-based Martin Hagemann of Zero Fiction will co-produce.

Colm Meaney and Susan Lynch will star in the story of an 11-year-old girl who dreams of becoming a race car driver.

The film will shoot in Ireland and Northern Ireland, and will be backed by the Irish Film Board's Multiple Project Development Scheme.

'The Race is a thoroughly heart-warming, universal story in the tradition of Billy Elliot, but with its own distinctive pulse, about how self belief and dedication can triumph against even the most seemingly insurmountable odds,' says High Point head Carey Fitzgerald, praising the project's 'great talent as producers, an exciting new director and a terrific script.'

Michael Garland of Grand added: 'From first draft to now we've developed an excellent dialogue with High Point, who have shown a tremendous amount of invaluable support and belief in the project and demonstrate a genuine understanding of how to handle films internationally.'