August, Tavernier look to Outsider

French prod'n powerhouse boasts major slate

CANNES -- French banner Outsider Prods. will give audiences an inside look at post-World War II Germany and 16th century France with two new projects from directors Billie August and Bertrand Tavernier, both set to start shooting early next year.

The production powerhouse behind 2005 boxoffice hit "Sky Fighters" – the French take on "Top Gun" which drew more than 1.3 million admissions in France -- is back with a new slate of projects. August's "Le Juge" (The Judge), based in Berlin in 1944, is co-produced by Ilann Girard's Arsam and will start shooting during the first quarter of 2009.

The 10-15 million euros ($15 million-$23 million) English-language film is based on Vladimir Volkoff's novel "L'interrogatoire" and producers are seeking an Anglo-Saxon A-list cast, still in negotiations. A two-time Palme d'Or winner, August's most recent director credit was the Nelson Mandela prison guard story "Goodbye Bafana."

Tavernier's "The Princess of Montpensier," co-produced by Paris-based companies Ocean Films and Paradis Films, is also set to start shooting in early 2009. "Princess" described by Outsider's president Laurent Brochand as "a 16th century 'Indochine,'" is expecting a star-studded Gallic cast. Tavernier recently completed the James lee Burke adaptation "In The Electric Mist" starring Tommy Lee Jones.

Elsewhere, Outsider will kickoff shooting on Olivier Doran's comedy "Le Coach" on July 15 in Paris. The 6.8 million euros ($10.5 million) project about a life coach guiding both his patients through sports, politics, business and love, stars Jean-Paul Rouve and Richard Berry alongside boxoffice sensation "Welcome to the Sticks" star Anne Marivin.

Released by Mars Distribution in Gaul, "Coach" is co-produced by Canal Plus and mobile operator Orange's film arm Studio 37, which is also handling international sales.

Outsider will also be heading to the Canadian slopes soon to shoot skiing comedy "Hors Piste," a 6 millon-8 million euros ($9.3-$12.4 million) Franco-Canadian co-production from director Eric Delcourt and starring Stephane Rousseau.