Oxford bands are set to battle it out for the chance to appear on screen in a new film based on Philip Pullman's novel The Butterfly Tattoo.

Bands were invited to send in demos and those chosen will perform at a gig tomorrow to choose which one will get to star in the film, a contemporary love story set in Oxford.

The bands performing will be Lightbox, The Plugs, Not My Day, Fatally Yours and Amber State - and the winning act will be filmed playing at the Jericho Tavern, Walton Street, during a key point in the film.

Jericho Tavern venue manager Frank Pescod said: "I'm all for it, anything is good which will give local bands exposure."

Original material from the best Oxford bands who have come forward will be used to put together the film's soundtrack.

Production manager Carolita Lamas said: "We got a lot of response. Within three hours of us putting up posters in music shops it was already being talked about in music forums all over Oxford and we had so many tracks sent in.

"We are very pleased with all the bands that are going to be there. There is a scene in the film where the two main characters, who are already falling in love, go to a gig at the Jericho Tavern with a band playing in the background and they dance to it.

"It is one of the main scenes."

Filming of The Butterfly Tattoo will start on Monday and will take six weeks.

Other locations which will be used include St Giles and the Cowley Road.

The film is an independent, community-supported production.

The two leads, Jenny and Chris, will be played by newcomers Jessica Blake and Duncan Stuart.

Mr Pullman has sold the rights to Dynamic Entertainment DEH Ltd and Miss Lamas said the author was supporting the production. It is planned to take the film to the Cannes Film Festival.

Miss Lamas said: "We are all very excited and we are working very, very hard to get everything done."

Tomorrow's gig at The Purple Turtle, in Frewin Court, off Cornmarket Street, Oxford, is free, with doors opening at 5pm and music from 6pm.