BERLIN — Celebrated French thesp Tahar Rahim is in advanced negotiations to star in Emir Kusturica’s Palestinian comedy “Cool Water,” which is set to start production in September.

Rahim won a slew of awards for his role as a young inmate who rises to power in a French prison in Jacques Audiard’s “A Prophet” and next appears in Kevin Macdonald’s historical epic “The Eagle of the Ninth.”

In “Cool Water” he would play one of two Palestinian brothers who try to smuggle the body of their recently deceased father from Jerusalem to Ramallah while trying to avoid Israeli police and Russian mobsters.

Penned by Gabrial Bornstein and developed by Hamburg-based Brave New Work Film Prods., “Cool Water” is co-produced by Wild Bunch, which is handling international sales and also distributing the pic in Germany.

The Euros4.5 million ($6 million) production has so far secured more than $1.3 million from regional funder Filmfoerderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein and the Federal Film Board (FFA). Further coin is expected from the Federal Film Fund (DFFF) and Filmstiftung NRW.

Kusturica, who will next star in Olivier Horlait’s coming-of-ager “Nicostratos the Pelican,” will follow “Cool Water” with “Seven Friends of Pancho Villa and the Woman With Six Fingers,” in which Johnny Depp is set to star as the Mexican revolutionary.