Principal photography has begun in Co Wexford on The Sea, the adaptation of John Banville's Man Booker Prize-winning novel, which stars Ciarán Hinds, Charlotte Rampling, Natascha McElhone, Rufus Sewell and Sinéad Cusack.

Directed by Stephen Brown, and also starring new young talents Missy Keating, Matthew Dillon and Padhraig Parkinson, The Sea tells the story of Max (Hinds), a widower who returns to the place where he spent his childhood summers and experiences "memories of innocent joy, uplifting warmth but also of profound tragedy".

Commenting on the film, producer Luc Roeg of production company Independent said: "I've wanted to make a film of John Banville's haunting and soulful novel for several years and it's been worth the wait.

"I'm excited to introduce a new film maker, Stephen Brown, to world cinema and I couldn't be more delighted with the cast and crew we've assembled together with our producing partners at Samson Films. The film has been made possible by the tremendous support we've had from Ireland and all our financiers."

Producer David Collins of Samson Films said: "We are delighted on a number of fronts, firstly that the film is shooting in Wexford and secondly that we have managed to assemble such a wide range of support from Irish sources to realise this as an ambitious feature film."

Novelist Banville added: "It's a great thrill that my book is being filmed, and I could not have hoped for a more splendid cast or a better director and crew."

The Sea will be released in cinemas next year.

The film is an Independent/Samson Films production in association with Rooks Nest Entertainment, Quicksilver Films, Windmill Lane Pictures and RTÉ with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the participation of Bord Scannán Na hÉireann/The Irish Film Board.

Ciarán Hinds in The Sea, Photo by Karina Finegan

Ciarán Hinds in The Sea Photo: Karina Finegan