Simon Fitzmaurice’s debut feature is set to shoot this summer.

Freddie Highmore and James Nesbitt are attached to star in My Name is Emily.

Simon Fitzmaurice’s debut feature follows a 16-year-old who escapes from her foster home and, with the help of a boy who loves her, sets out to find her father who is locked up in a psychiatric institution.

Award-winning film-maker Fitzmaurice was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease in 2008 when he started writing the script, which he finished five years later with an iris-recognition screen.

Nesbitt commented: “This film has such a heart and soul - it’s a really original piece of writing. I’m very excited to be a part of it and to be exploring a role I haven’t played before.”

“It’s fantastic to be on board for Simon’s latest project. It has that fresh and spontaneous angle of all great Irish scripts,” added Highmore.

Set to shoot this summer, My Name is Emily is a co-production between Irish companies Newgrange Pictures, led by Jackie Larkin & Lesley McKimm, and Kathryn Kennedy’s Kennedy Films.

All Irish finance is secured, including the Irish Film Board, BAI and TV3, with UK and Swedish partners on board. The producers also raised over €100,000 through a crowd-funding campaign.