Plans are in motion for a feature film based on an Iranian refugee’s award-winning book written while he was in detention on Manus Island.

Production on the film based on Behrouz Boochani’s novel No Friend But The Mountains is slated to begin in mid-2021, production companies Sweetshop & Green, Aurora Films and Hoodlum Entertainment said in a joint statement.

The film is intended to be shot mainly in Australia.

Boochani, 36, spent more than six years in offshore detention after fleeing Iran and last year won Australia’s most valuable literary award, the Victorian Prize for Literature.

He entered New Zealand on a one-month visa for a speaking engagement in November but didn’t return to Papua New Guinea.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has declared Boochani will never set foot in Australia.