Sherlock's Martin Freeman is set to star in Cargo, a feature based on Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke's 2013 Tropfest short, as a father trying to protect his child in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.

Ramke wrote the script, and she and Howling will be making their feature debuts as directors.

Screen Australia is backing, with The Babadook's Kristina Ceyton producing alongside Russell Ackerman (Hellboy II), Sam Jennings (The Pretend One) and John Schoenfelder.

Nikki Barrett and The Revenant's John McAlary are the casting directors.

The film is currently being shopped at Cannes, with Bankside spruiking the project to international buyers.

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