Cate Blanchett, Ralph Fiennes tributes New

Hitchcockian nailbiter produced by SBS Prods.

Cate Blanchett will star in helmer-scribe David Mamet’s “Blackbird,” a present-day Hitchcockian nailbiter turning on a secret explanation for the 1963 assassination of U.S. president John F. Kennedy.

Blanchett plays Janet, who travels to Los Angeles for the funeral of her grandfather, a Hollywood visual effects artist who moonlighted for U.S. special ops agencies. Her grandfather’s well-kept secrets become a threat to her, forcing Janet to discover the truth about a man who dedicated his life to making illusion reality.

“Blackbird” is produced by Said Ben Said’s Paris-based SBS Prods., which established a reputation from its 2010 launch for producing films by heavyweight directors aimed at adult audiences: Roman Polanski’s “Carnage,” Brian De Palma’s “Passion,” and David Cronenberg’s upcoming “Maps to the Stars,” starring Julianne Moore, John Cusack and Robert Pattinson, which Ben Said is co-producing with Prospero Pictures’ Martin Katz.

SBS is handling worldwide sales. It will shoot in Sydney, part financed by Australian tax breaks, Ben Said said.

SBS also produced helmer-thesp Valeria Bruni Tedeschi’s “A Castle in Italy,” which world preems in Cannes competition on Monday. Of autobiographical inspiration, dramedy turns on a rich family forced to sell their castle in Italy.

“Castle” is co-written by Noemie Lvovsky, “Camille Rewinds” closed Directors’ Fortnight last year and Agnes de Sacy, who wrote the SBS-produced “Cherchez Hortense.”

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