Helmer Sattouf reteams with producer Toussaint

CANNES — Charlotte Gainsbourg is to star in comicbook artist-turned-helmer Riad Sattouf’s satirical comedy “Jacky au royaume des filles” (Jacky in Women’s Kingdom).

Sattouf’s feature debut “French Kissers” was a critical and commercial success. It sold to all major territories and won a Cesar, France’s top film prize, for first film.

Sattouf reteamed with his “French Kissers” producer Anne-Dominique Toussaint at Les Films Des Tournelles, the arthouse shingle behind Nadine Labaki’s “Caramel” and “Where Do We Go Now.”

“Kingdom” has an unsual concept: it’s set in an imaginary femme-led military dictatorship in which gender roles are reversed and men wear the veil.

Vincent Lacoste, who toplined Sattouf’s “Kissers” will star as Jacky, a young man who falls in love with an attractive colonel, played by Gainsbourg, and dreams of marrying her, even though she’s completely out of his league. Sattouf penned the original script.

Toussaint described “Kingdom” as a true comedy that nevertheless addresses contemporary social issues and real problems.

“Riad wants (‘Kingdom’) to be hilarious, but he also wants it to feel realistic and make people think — it won’t be a burlesque comedy.”

Toussaint added that the pic’s decor will look real, yet spectacular (with, for instance, a Palais and military tanks).

Pic will also star thesp-helmer Noemie Lvovsky (who toplines Directors’ Fortnight closer “Camille Redouble”) and Didier Bourdon (“La Cage aux Folles”).

Lensing, set to kick off in late September, will take place in Georgia.

Pathe and Studio 37, which partnered on “French Kissers,” have co-acquired “Kingdom” for distribution in France and international sales.

Also on Les Films Des Tournelles’ slate is Philippe Le Guay’s comedy “Alceste a bicyclette,” his anticipated follow-up to “Service Entrance.” Pathe is selling the pic.

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