Oranges and Sunshine director returning to Australia to film Spanish family drama starring Paz Vega.

The lead cast has been unveiled on British filmmaker Jim Loach’s second feature, which will begin production on March 3 at Adelaide Studios and across South Australia’s outback and vineyard regions.

The film, currently known as Untitled Jim Loach Project, marks a return to the country for the London-born director, who made Oranges and Sunshine in Australia in 2009.

The UK-Australia co-production is from Met Film and Southern Light Alliance, with investment from the UK’s Rattle & Hum Films and the South Australian Film Corporation.

Producers are Stewart le Maréchal and Anna Mohr-Pietsch for UK outfit Met Film alongside Australia’s Tim White and Anna Vincent for Southern Light Alliance.

Set within a multigenerational Spanish family, the upcoming film tells the story of a 12-year-old boy who realises he must escape his passionate yet dysfunctional family.

The script has been penned by Australian writer Judy Morris (Happy Feet 2, Babe: Pig In The City).

Loach said: “As soon as I read Judy’s script, I knew this was a film I wanted to make. It’s just a great story, and with a brilliant cinematic quality built in.

“It has a big, big heart and travels through a terrain that I’ve always wanted to explore - familial love and loss, and everything else in between. Developing it has been a joy and lots of fun, and I’m looking forward to shooting.”

The cast includes Paz Vega, who starred opposite Adam Sandler in Spanglish and will soon be seen as Maria Callas in Nicole Kidman’s Grace Of Monaco, set to open this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

She will be joined by Spanish actress Carmen Maura, Antonio de la Torre known for his roles in Almodovar’s I’m So Excited and Volver, and Quim Gutierrez.

Australian actress Jessica Marais also joins the cast alongside newcomer Michael Crisafulli, who will take the lead role of Savino, and Jarin Towney playing his friend Skeet.

Veteran US actor Edward James Olmos (Battlestar Galactica) rounds out the cast.

The film is set to be released early 2015 and will be distributed in Australia by Greenlight Releasing.