Pic set up at 3B Productions

Two-time Cannes winner Bruno Dumont will direct “L’Empire,” set in the wilds of northern France.

Set up at France’s 3B Prods, which has produced all of Dumont’s films, “L’Empire” will be produced by Muriel Merlin with Jean Brehat and Rachid Bouchareb.

Story turns on a village loner who kills a farm girl’s violent father, aids a kid with strange seizures, and kills a guard. Then a miracle reveals the man to be more than he seemed.

Dumont’s sixth feature has pulled down a pre-buy from Gallic paybox Canal Plus and a provisional advance subsidy at screenplay stage from France’s Centre Nationale du Cinema film board.

Also written by Dumont, “L’Empire” has additionally tapped funding from the Nord-Pas de Calais regional film board.

The Netherlands’ Contact Film, a regular Dumont distributor, has pre-bought Benelux rights.

Rolling Aug. 16, “L’Empire” returns Dumont to northern France where he shot 1997’s “The Life of Jesus,” 1999’s “Humanity” and part of 2006’s “Flanders.”

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