Portuguese actress Lucia Moniz (“Love Actually”) is attached to star in “Listen,” a drama about a Portuguese couple working in London whose kids are taken away by social services. The timely pic will be directed by Portuguese first-timer Ana Rocha De Sousa. 

“Listen” is being co-produced by Paula Vaccaro’s Pinball London and Portugal’s Bando À Parte, headed by Rodrigo Areia. It’s being described by Vaccaro as “a drama with thriller pacing” that charts the couple’s quest to recover their kids before they are placed for forced adoption. Moniz is a popular pop singer in Portugal and will be soon be seen on the big screen in Italian director Marco Pontecorvo’s drama “Fatima.” In “Listen” she will play the mother of three kids.

London-trained Ana Rocha de Sousa, who is a former actress, has previously shot several prizewinning shorts, two of which screened in Cannes. De Sousa co-wrote the screenplay for her feature film debut with Vaccaro and U.S. scribe Aaron Brookner (“Uncle Howard”) who is Vaccaro’s partner.

“Listen” is part of several projects by women directors now in various stages being produced by Pinball, the indie outfit behind Emir Kusturica’s “On The Milky Road,” among other titles.

Vaccaro said that as the company hits the 10-year mark she is proud to “kickstart our gender balance charter at Pinball London.” As part of this effort the Pinball slate now has doc “Sumercé,”about veteran Colombian political activist Don Eduardo, directed by Victoria Solano, which is completed. And they are developing “Casa Victoria,” a U.K.-set TV series dealing with a South American transgender woman. The show will mark the writing debut of drag artist and filmmaker Victoria Cordoba.