Debbie Isitt has started principal photography on comedy Nativity, starring Martin Freeman, Ashley Jensen, Jason Watkins and Mark Wootton.

Backers are BBC Films, Screen West Midlands and Limelight. Protagonist Pictures is handling international sales.

Isitt, who last directed Confetti, is again directing an improvised comedy.

Nick Jones is producing.

The film will shoot throughout the West Midlands during a six-week shoot.

Freeman and Watkins play teachers at rival schools who hope to put on the best Christmas nativity play. Freeman's character then boasts that his ex-girlfriend, a Hollywood producer (Jensen) will be involved in his schools' production.

Isitt said: ' I'm so excited to be making another film with BBC Films and Screen West Midlands. Their enthusiasm and support for my work is fantastic.'

Joe Oppenheimer and David M Thompson for BBC Films will serve as executive producers.

Oppenheimer said: 'Debbie has a unique talent and vision, and as ever has assembled a wonderful cast and creative team to bring her great ideas to life. We're delighted to be working with her again.'