Fessler, Heumann team on French 'Captain'

Gallic screenwriter Michel Fessler (“The Sea Wall”) is attached to co-write the screenplay of “A Captain,” a psychological epic set up at top Gallic producer-director Eric Heumann’s Paradis Films.

Heumann, a Berlin Silver Bear winning director (“Port Djema”) and a co-founder of Bac Films with Jean Labadie, is co-writing.

Paradis teamed with StudioCanal to produce Bertrand Tavernier’s “The Princess of Montpensier,” which plays Cannes competition Sunday.

Heumann has produced Regis Wargnier’s “Indochine,” “2046″ from Wong Kar Wai, “Sister Smile” by Belgium’s Stijn Coninx and Marco Tulio Giordana’s “Sanguepazzo.”

“One Captain” turns on French General Philippe Leclerc’s attack in 1940, using just one artillery battery, on elite Italian forces holed up in a fort in Chad, when the war against Nazi Germany seemed all but lost. He won.

Leclerc is also known for liberating Paris in 1944 with his 2nd Armored Division.

“Captain” “is a story about courage, what defines it, set against a background of bravery and also cowardice,” Heumann told Variety.

In 1940, “Very few people decided to continue battling against Hitler. I want to understand why, what were their characters, their psychology. That’s the modernity of the subject,” Heumann explained.

“I want to produce films for international audiences. That’s why I produce directors like Wong Kar Wai or became involved in (films like) ‘Indochine,’ ” Heumann said.

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