Techine art comedy on SBS slate

Schroeder thriller, Christie adaptation also on tap

PARIS — After Berlin competition title “The Witnesses,” Gallic helmer Andre Techine is next planning a comedy set in the moneyed world of art dealing starring Catherine Deneuve and Michel Blanc.

That film, Barbet Schroeder’s new erotic thriller “Inju,” and Pascal Bonitzer’s Agatha Christie adaptation “The Hollow” make up an impressive lineup of projects at Said Ben Said’s shingle SBS, a subsid of Gallic film group UGC.

Techine’s as-yet-untitled pic is slated to shoot this fall, the producer said Wednesday. UGC will distribute the film in France and handle international sales.

Techine is in the throes of writing the script; project is his third film with Ben Said. “Far” was Ben Said’s first film as a producer seven years ago.

“The Witnesses,” which explores the social effects of AIDS, pre-sold widely, most recently to 01 in Italy and Vertigo in Spain.

UGC is still mulling U.S. and German offers in Berlin, where the pic was well received by critics and gala attendees on Monday night.

Schroeder’s Japan-set “Inju,” based on the eponymous novel by early 20th century Japanese author Edogawa Rampo, is a steamy tale of deviance and sado-masochism that the helmer will set in modern-day Japan.

“It’s a cross between ‘Basic Instinct’ and ‘Usual Suspects,’ ” the producer said.

Pic, which is still being cast, is slated to shoot at the end of the summer.

Before that, lensing will begin early in June on Bonitzer’s “The Hollow,” starring Marina Hands — currently on screens in the Berlin selected “Lady Chatterley” — Andre Dussollier, Nicole Garcia and Lambert Wilson.

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