Georgian-French helmer Gela Babluani, who made his English-language debut with Sam Riley starrer “13,” is to helm Detroit-set “Money Is Money”.

The $8.5 million thriller is co-produced by Rachael Horovitz (“Moneyball”) via her Specialty Films and produced by Paris-based Eletrick Films, newly-launched by Dominique Boutonnat, Hubert Caillard and Alain Attal. Attal is also founder and prexy of Les Productions du Tresor, which has Guillaume Canet’s “Blood Ties” at Cannes. Studio Orange is in advanced negotiations to co-finance the pic.

“Money” turns on three friends struggling to survive in Detroit, whose lives are changed when they break into a house to commit burglary and find a man about to hang himself.

Casting is under way with filming skedded for the third quarter in Detroit.

Babluani’s debut, “13 Tzameti,” won the World Cinema prize at Sundance.