Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline Star 'Old

Protagonist to rep int'l market at Cannes

LONDON — Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline, Jane Birkin and Dominique Pinon are set to topline “My Old Lady,” a Paris-based dramedy marking the film directorial debut of playwright and screenwriter Israel Horovitz, who adapted his play for the screen.

Principal photography begins in Paris on Sept. 9.

Protagonist Pictures will introduce the project to international buyers at Cannes; Cinetic Media is handling the North American sale.

Kline plays Mathias, a down-and-out New Yorker, who travels to Paris to liquidate a huge, valuable apartment he inherits from his estranged father.  Mathias discovers a refined old lady, Mathilde, played by Smith, living in the apartment with her daughter Chloe (Birkin). Mathias discovers that Mathilde and his father were lovers for more than 50 years.

Rachael Horovitz (“Moneyball,” “About Schmidt”) is producing with Raphael Benoliel (“Midnight in Paris,” “Les Miserables”), Nitsa Benchetrit (“The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond”) and David Barrot (“Eyes Wide Open,” “Battu”). French stage-producer Marie-Cecile Renauld co-produces.

Horovitz’s screenwriting credits include “The Strawberry Statement,” which took the jury prize at Cannes in 1970, Al Pacino comedy “Author! Author!” (1982) and Istvan Szabo’s 1999 epic “Sunshine,” the winner of the European Film Award for screenplay.

His plays include “The Indian Wants the Bronx” and “Park Your Car in Harvard Yard.”

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