ROME – Juliette Binoche is attached to star in female competition drama “The Wait” to be directed by first-time Italo helmer Piero Messina, assistant of recent foreign-language Oscar-winner Paolo Sorrentino (“The Great Beauty”).

Gaul’s Pathe International will kick off world sales at Cannes on the Sicily-set pic which is being produced by “The Great Beauty” shingle Indigo Film with Gaul’s Babe Films on board as co-producer.

A graduate of Rome’s Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia film school, Messina made Sicily-set short “Terra,” starring Giorgio Colangeli (“Il Divo”), which screened at the Cannes Cinefondation sidebar in 2012. Messina has also worked closely with Sorrentino as first assistant on both Sean Penn-starrer “This Must Be The Place” and on “The Great Beauty.”

Besides Binoche, who will be seen at Cannes in Olivier Assayas’ “Clouds of Sils Maria,” “The Wait” will also star Colangeli. Other casting is being completed. Shooting is set to start in July.

“Piero is a great talent” enthused Indigo’s Nicola Giuliano. “I have a feeling that this debut will make its mark.”

The producer described the pic, which is set in an old Sicilian villa amid a rugged countryside, as “a match-up between two women: a mother and her son’s fiancee.”

When the fiancee appears at the villa claiming to be invited, the two women, who do not know each other, spend Easter holidays together waiting for the son to show up and slowly get to know, and size up, each other.