StudioCanal has come on board Bac Nord from Cedric Jimenez, a French crime thriller with Gilles Lellouche set in the dangerous northern neighborhoods of Marseille.

Bac Nord marks our fifth collaboration with Hugo Selignac, a talented and ambitious French producer,” said Nicolas Dumont, StudioCanal’s exec VP of French production, theatrical distribution and home entertainment. Dumont cited Lellouche’s Sink or Swim, Jeanne Herry’s In Safe Hands, Francois Damiens’s Mon Ket and Romain Gavras’ The World Is Yours.

StudioCanal is co-producing the film with France 2 Cinéma and has acquired all rights, including the international sales.

Bac Nord will follow a police brigade in a neighborhood of Marseille where the level of crime is higher than anywhere else in France. It will be the first fiction film shot in this area.

Bac Nord will bring together a strong cast of French stars, including Lellouche; Francois Civil, who won the Chopard Trophy Award for rising talent at Cannes; Karim Leklou, who earned a Cesar nomination for best newcomer; Adèle Exarchopoulos; and Kenza Fortas, who just won best female newcomer at the Cesar Awards.

A native of Marseille, Jimenez penned the script with Audrey Diwan, his co-screenwriter of The Connection and the Rosamund Pike-starrer The Man With the Iron Heart, in collaboration with Benjamin Charbit.

Jimenez said Bac Nord would be told from the perspective of the cops, who are put under pressure from their hierarchy to achieve results at all costs.

Bac Nord is the type of strongly packaged French movie that we’re looking for at StudioCanal because it’s got an international appeal even if it’s got a very local footprint,” said Dumont. The exec said the project “will not be a plain crime thriller and will boast social and political themes; it will depict today’s French society with richly layered characters.”

The movie will start shooting August 5 for six weeks on location in the south of France.

StudioCanal will release the movie in France during the second semester of 2020.

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