Jane Scott and Jan Sardi, the producer and writer of Australian hit film Shine, are teaming up again for the romantic comedy Love's Brother, except that this time it will also be Sardi's directorial debut. Great Scott Productions' producing partner in the official Australian/UK co-production is Sarah Radclyffe Productions.

A substantial part of the budget is coming from the Australian Film Finance Corporation. Scott would not name the sales agent because the deal is not yet finalised but said that Palace has bought local rights and Italian distributor Mikado has signed for that territory.

Australian actors Rose Byrne and Adam Garcia, and US actor Giovanni Ribisi, have agreed to star in the romantic comedy, which is set in 1950s Tuscany and Australia. It tells the story of two brothers and a bride who, as fate would have it, arrives from Italy betrothed to one, only to fall madly in love with the other.

Scott has a great belief in first time directors because they are likely to be very passionate about the material. In this case Sardi found the story while researching the life of his Italian grandfather. His writing credits include Moving Out, Ground Zero and Secrets.

It is planned that the film will go into production early next year. A number of high-profile department heads are likely to be involved including production designer Luciana Arrighi and director of photography Gale Tattersall.

Scott also produced Head On and was one of the producers on the second Crocodile Dundee film. Both Crocodile Dundee II and Shine are in Australia's top 20 box office performers. The first took nearly A$25m in 1988 with Hoyts distributing and Shine took over A$10m in 1996 with Ronin distributing.