Warp Films and Art in Action have started shooting a comedywith the working title of The Allotment.

Richard Laxton, who recentlycompleted Life & Lyrics, willdirect from a script by Frank Cottrell Boyce with Carl Hunter. The Allotment follows a refugee familytrying to fit into the community of their gardening allotment.

The film's cast includes Benedict Wong, Eddie MArsan, Alan Williams, Philip Jackson, OmidDjalili, Sarah Hadland,Roland Manookian and newcomers Sophie Lee and JeffreyLi.

The film-makers are shooting for six weeks in Merseyside.

BBC Films, the UK Film Council's NewCinema Fund and North West Vision are also on board. PatheDistribution will release in the UK and PathePictures International will handle worldwide sales.

'The Allotment is a universal story with its roots in Liverpool," said producerBarry Ryan from Warp Films. "WhenFrank and Carl planted the seed in our heads nearly two years ago we alwayshoped it would blossom into the phenomenal production we have today. Warp Filmsare proud to be producing this film with Art in Action.'

Producer Luke Alkinfrom BBC Films added: 'The peculiarly British world ofallotments is an unlikely setting for a story with such universal appeal. FrankCottrell Boyce's wonderful script touches on some really big themes to do withcommunity, immigration and the therapeutic power of gardening whilst beingentertaining, moving and very funny."