The feature film is based on his own experience of being a father to a severely premature baby and is currently out for casting.

British director Alan Entwistle is to make his feature debut with 24weekers, a gritty family drama based on the story of his own son Jack who was born prematurely at 24 weeks.

Entwistle has been writing the screenplay for the project, which is being funded via an EIS Investment scheme. He is hoping to raise the film’s budget of £2.3m by October with plans to start shooting in January 2013.

The project is being backed by baby charities Bliss and March Of Dimes.

A published author and former music journalist, Entwistle directed the short film Eyes Wides Open.

Referring to the success of TV shows One Born Every Minute, Great Ormond Street and storylines on EastEnders, Entwistle said: “There is lots of interest about this subject matter, but no one has actually made a full blown feature length movie.”