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Dimitri Rassam Builds Bridges With Wildside, Endemol Shine France

Dimitri Rassam, the French producer behind “Playmobil” and “Little Prince,” is partnering up with Endemol Shine France to produce TV drama “Apaches,” an English-language period series created by “Mad Men’s” Maria and Andre Jacquemetton.

“Apaches” will be one of the first TV dramas to be produced under the newly integrated banner of Endemol Shine France.  “Apaches” will be shot mainly in the U.K. in 2017, using English-speaking actors. Series will center around the infamous French street gangs of the early 1900s, dubbed “Les apaches.” Plot is under wraps.

Described by Rassam as being in the vein of “Gangs of New York,” “Apaches” will have a budget of approximately 40 million euros ($44 million) and will be produced by Rassam’s outfit Chapter 2.

Chapter 2 is also partnering up with Italian shingle Wildside on “The French Foreign Legion,” an epic series based on real events and taking place during the Indochina War, as well as Pawel Pawlikowski’s “Limonov,” an adpatation of Emmanuel Carrere’s bestselling novel, and the Italian remake of “Papa ou Maman,” the hit French comedy whose sequel is coming out on Dec.7. The Italian makeover, “Mamma o Papa,” which is directed by Riccardo Milani and stars Antonio Albanese and Paola Cortellessi, will be released in Italy by Medusa Film on Feb. 16.

“Our relationships with Wildside and Endemol Shine France illustrate what we’re trying to achieve by forging alliances and building bridges with European companies and creatives who share our international ambitions,” said Rassam, who is now established in Los Angeles.

A German remake of “Papa,” directed by Sven Underwaldt, will be released by Wild Bunch Germany in February and a French TV series based on “Papa ou maman” is also under way. As Rassam pointed out, “‘Papa ou maman’ is one of the rare independently produced original franchises.” The TV show has been commissioned by M6, France’s second-biggest commercial network, and is being exec-produced by Alexandre de la Patellière and Matthieu Delaporte, the writer/director duo behind the franchise.

Rassam is also producing several upscale, high-concept French projects, notably “Le Brio,” Yvan Attal’s promising follow up to “Ils sont partout,” which will star Daniel Auteuil and singer-turned-actress Camelia Jordana.

A contempo dramedy co-produced by Benjamin Elalouf’s outfit Moonshaker, “Le Brio” was penned by Yael Langmann, Victor Saint Macary and Attal. It turns on a brilliant young woman of North African origin who grew up in the projects near Paris and aspires to become a lawyer.

Studying law at a prestigious university in a posh Paris neighborhood, the young woman crosses paths with a revered, yet provocative professor who takes her under his wing and grooms her to win a big debating tournament. Currently shooting, “Le Brio” is co-produced and repped by Pathe which will be distributing the film in France.

Rassam’s latest animation feature, “Playmobil” is being shopped by Lionsgate at AFM.

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