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El Mechri to direct Quad’s ‘Dalida’

Bio follows the life of French singer

Mabrouk El Mechri, who recently helmed Summit Entertainment’s “The Cold Light of Day,” starring Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver, is prepping “Dalida,” a film about the life and career of the Egyptian-born French singer.

Nicolas Duval, Yann Zenou and Laurent Zeitoun at Quad Films, the outfit behind “The Intouchables” and “Heartbreaker,” are producing, with Steven Chasman co-producing the €15 million ($19 million) film.

French thesp Nadia Fares will play Dalida, aka Yolanda Gigliotti, who was born in Egypt to Italian parents but spent much of her working life in France after becoming a citizen. She committed suicide in 1986 after a successful 30-year career.

“Dalida” explores the duality between the singer’s public image and who she really was, Zeitoun told Variety. “Dalida was very independent, determined, talented and hard-working but her soft spot was her tender heart. It propelled her downfall.”

A French-Tunisian, El Mechri made his directorial debut with “Virgil” in 2005. He also recently moved into TV, writing and directing the skein “Maison Close,” which earned top ratings on Gallic paybox Canal Plus.

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