Sima Urale is set to start production on her debut feature, Apron Strings, this month.

Laila Rouass will star alongside Scott Wills, Jennifer Ludlum and Nathan Whittaker.

Urale is internationally known for her shorts O'Tamaiti, Still Life, and Coffee & Allah. The latter premiered in Venice earlier this year.

Rachel Gardner of Maxim Films is producing.

Dianne Taylor and Shuchi Kothari wrote the script, about Pakeha and Indian families in suburban New Zealand.

'This is a character driven story that delves into the tender yet complicated relationship between mother and child that will touch many audiences as it has with me' says Urale, 'As well as the fact that it is so rare to see other ethnic groups on our screens other than just Pakeha and Pacific peoples.'

Rialto is on board for Australia and New Zealand distribution.

The project is the first to go through the Signature Scheme, a low-budget initiative from the New Zealand Film Commission, NZ On Air and Television New Zealand.