The UK-Spanish co-production is being written and directed by UK film-maker James Rogan.

The BBC has pre-bought UK free TV rights to Spanish-language theatrical feature, San Cristobal, written and directed by UK feature and documentary director James Rogan.

The UK/Spain co-production is due to start shooting near Valencia later this year and will star Goya winners Quim Gutiérrez and Marta Etura.

San Cristobal tells the story of a young man who saves his village from the brink of extinction by repopulating it with a rag-tag group of homeless people - and getting the girl of his dreams along the way.

Rogan has also written the Spanish language film which is a co-production between Crowfoot Films and Aria Films in the UK, and El Olivo Producciones Audiovisuales in Spain.

Rogan’s first feature was the low-budget thriller Dead Bolt Dead. He wrote and directed The Open Doors, starring Michael Sheen, which was selected to open a retrospective of the best British short films of the past 20 years in the Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival, as well as making documentaries for the BBC including The Trouble With Pirates.

Steve Jenkins, head of films at BBC programme acquisitions, said: “We rarely pre-buy foreign language films but James is a director with a strong BBC connection, through his highly acclaimed documentaries for Storyville. San Cristobal is a local story but with a timely topic at its heart, which I’m sure will resonate with BBC Four’s World Cinema viewers and with an international audience. We’re are delighted to be part of it.”