Kinski, Forster to star in pic

NEW YORK — Lumiere Intl. has begun production on “The Magic of Marciano,” a drama written and directed by Tony Barbieri which stars Nastassja Kinski, Robert Forster, Jason Cairns and Cody Morgan.

Lumiere will produce in association with Transfilm Montreal.

Though Lumiere is prepping numerous big-budgeted, star-driven films, this film is on the smaller side: It’s about a 10-year-old boy (Morgan) who shares an intense bond with his mentally ill mother (Kinski). The youth’s life is turned upside down when his mother lapses into violent psychosis, until a former psychiatrist (Forster) takes pity on, and then custody of, the child.

The key to Lumiere’s agreeing to finance the film was the writer/director, said Lumiere head of production Lila Cazes, who will produce the film.

“(Barbieri) made his last film, ‘One,’ for nothing and it was marvelous and one of the hits of the last Sundance,” said Cazes. “He sent me his script and it’s a beautiful story about the boy and how he survives and accommodates his mother’s craziness. I believe in Tony’s vision.”

The project is similar in origin to “Leaving Las Vegas,” which Mike Figgis couldn’t get financed until Cazes stepped up. Lumiere will make the film, then sell domestic rights.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more