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Berliner, Forensic soliciting ‘Satan’

Korine-penned pic tells story of siblings' struggle for love

Belgian director Alain Berliner, whose coming-of-age comedy “Ma vie en rose” screened in the Directors Fortnight in 1997, has returned to Cannes to secure international financing for “Satan’s Lee,” an English-language project he is developing with Forensic Films.

Forensic Films is the U.S. co-producer of Olivier Assayas’ “Clean,” which screens in competition Friday.

“Satan’s Lee” is based on a screenplay by Avy Korine, brother of “Julien Donkey-Boy” writer-director Harmony Korine. Forensic principals Scott Macaulay and Robin O’Hara, who produced “Julien,” developed the script of “Satan’s Lee” and brought Berliner aboard.

Berliner likened “Satan’s Lee” to “Ordinary People” and “Badlands.” He told Variety it was the story of “two young brothers who fight violently for the love of their parents following a tragedy in the family.”

“Satan’s Lee” is one of several new projects in the hopper at Forensic. The company recently commissioned from writer George Smith an adaptation of G.K. Chesteron’s novel “The Man Who was Thursday,” which Macaulay described as a “turn-of-the-century spy movie with a fantastic metaphysical twist.” 

“Satan’s Lee” is out to cast. Forensic hopes to begin shooting the project in late fall.

“When we read Avy’s script, we were struck by how beautifully and poetically he had captured the inner life of both parents and children in the midst of a devastating event,” Macaulay said. “And, of course, depicting a family’s inner life is what Alain did fantastically in “Ma vie en rose.”

Forensic, which recently produced “Raising Victor Vargas,” and the HBO boxing pic, “Undefeated,” has specialized in writer and director-driven international co-productions.

Two years ago, Forensic announced a partnership with U.S.-based casting director Hopkins/Smith/Barden to provide packaging and producing services for international filmmakers seeking access to U.S. talent. 

The first film out of that partnership, Olivier Assayas’  “Demonlover,” screened in competition at Cannes two years ago. Both “Clean” and “Demonlover” were produced by Edouard Weil. 

Forensic is developing several other projects with German production company Egoli Tossell and the French producers Haut et Court along with Weil’s Elizabeth Films.

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