French thriller stars Yvan Attal

PARIS — Gallic powerhouse StudioCanal is to co-produce “R.I.F.,” a $7.7 million thriller starring Israeli-born French thesp Yvan Attal.

Helmed and co-penned by Franck Mancuso, “R.I.F.” turns on a high-ranking officer (Attal) at the Police Criminal Investigation Unit who is framed for his wife’s disappearance, and has to hide with his son while searching for her.

Mancuso’s feature debut, the Jean Dujardin starrer “Counter Investigation,” was a sleeper hit in Gaul, grossing $8.15 million at the local B.O.

Attal, who earned a Cesar nom this year for his performance in “Raft,” will play opposite up-and-coming Gallic thesp Pascal Elbe (“Turk’s Head”)

Pic is produced by Fabio Conversi at Paris-based Babe Films (“Il Divo,” “Someone I Loved”) and Patrice Gimenez’s Epheme Prods., and is co-produced by pubcaster France 2.

StudioCanal will handle international sales and French distribution, which is skedded for September 2011.

The seven-week shoot starts this week in Paris.

Along with Diane Kruger starrer “Special Forces” and serial killer thriller “Prey,” which were announced at Cannes, “R.I.F” is part of StudioCanal’s move into high-concept, upscale French genre fare.

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