Benayoun’s IMA Films readies English slate

'Recompense,' 'Trouble' first to lens

CANNES — IMA Films, the Paris-based production company headed by George Benayoun, is prepping the $7 million snowboard thriller “Nunatak,” from debut director Olias Barco.

The pic, co-developed with the Pathe group, is set to start shooting at the end of the year.

Benayoun is backing a string of English-language projects. Heading up the latest of these is Benoit Jacquot’s $12 million “A Mother’s Recompense,” toplining Catherine Deneuve. Pic could be produced by Benayoun’s London-based production company, Frames.

Set to lens in September is Claire Denis’ $4 million “Trouble Every Day,” to which Vincent Gallo is attached. The film follows U.S. and Gallic researchers in the Amazon studying the effect of a strange plant on the libido. Slowly it transpires that the plant does enhance the sex drive, but encourages users to eat their sexual partners.

Following his critically acclaimed “L’Appartement,” for which Lakeshore has remake rights, Gilles Mimouni is in pre-production on his $10 million “The Pretender,” which starts lensing in November and which will take Mimouni to Eastern Europe, Paris, New York and London. Vincent Cassel is attached to star in a present-day tale of artwork stolen by the Nazis during World War II.

This month, David Caffrey’s “Divorcing Jack” opens in France. The pic is a co-production between IMA and Scala.

Benayoun’s English-lingo enthusiasm was not dampened by the box office results of Daniel Auteuil’s English-lingo debut, “The Lost Son,” which IMA co-produced with London-based Scala and which co-stars Katrin Cartlidge and Nastassja Kinski. The pic disappeared from the Gallic box office charts after two weeks.