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PARIS– Franco-German net Arte has commissioned Lucie Borleteau’s “Cannabis,” a thriller drama skein delving into the private lives of drug smugglers.

The series, comprising six one-hour episodes, has an international scope since it explores the underworld of cannabis trafficking which takes place between France and Spain.

An up-and-coming French thesp-turned-helmer, Borleteau made her feature debut with the critically-aclaimed “Fidelio, Alice’s Journey” which earned two Cesar nominations and won two awards at Locarno, including the Europa Cinema Label for Borleteau and the best actress nod for Ariane Labed (who was recently cast to star in “Assassin’s Creed”).

“Cannabis” is produced by well-known French helmer/producer Tonie Marshall’s Tabo Tabo Films, Spain’s Arcadia Motion Pictures and Arte France.

“Cannabis” reflects Arte’s ongoing original programming strategy which kicked off about four years ago. Like pay TV giant Canal Plus, Arte has been ramping up its original premium drama offer with high-end skeins or miniseries, such as Jean-Xavier de Lestrade’s “3xManon,” “Churchmen” (“Ansi soient-ils”), Virginie Brac’s “Paris” or the upcoming high-concept dystopian “Trepalium.” Arte’s creative approach seems closer to that of a pay TV channel than a free-to-air broadcaster as it aims for sophisticated, thought-provoking shows.

As a major backer of French arthouse films, Arte also benefits from strong ties with local talent and directors such as Borleteau.

Penned by Hamid Hiloua, Clara Bourreau and Brac (“Paris,””Spiral”), “Cannabis” stars Yasin Houicha, Kate Moran, Jean-Michel Correia, Christophe Paou, Pedro Casablanc, Carima Amarouche and Younes Bouab.

“Cannabis” has just started shooting. It will lense on location in France and Spain until Dec. 12.