EXCLUSIVE: The Italian siren’s involvement gives Guy Édoin’s story of four intertwined lives a timely boost as the filmmaker prepares to take part in the Cannes networking programme L’Atelier.

Bellucci will star in Max Films and Canadian distributor Filmoption’s drama as Sophie, a French actress on location in Montreal who attempts to patch up relations with her son while he strives to discover the true identity of his father.

Unbeknown to the young man, the film was conceived specifically to answer his questions.

Meanwhile, a troubled ambulance technician tries to keep his life in order while a kindly nurse watches over him amid the chaos of ER. The four characters’ lives eventually intersect at the Ville-Marie Hospital.

Félize Frappier of Max Films produces and Roger Frappier serves as executive producer. Ville-Marie is the first Canadian-funded project to be invited to participate in Cinéfondation’s L’Atelier.

“I fell in love with the character of Sophie and I am very much looking forward to bringing her to life,” said Bellucci. “The script is beautifully written and I am excited to work with the talented emerging director, Guy Édoin.”

“The minute I met with Monica Bellucci, I immediately knew that this role was made for her,” said Édoin. “Her sensibility, her intelligence and charm came through so strongly that there is no question she will perfectly inhabit this challenging character that bridges the two worlds of film actress and struggling mother. It will be an honour and a privilege to work alongside Monica.”

Édoin’s first feature Marécages (Wetlands) premiered in the 2011 Venice Film Festival’s Critics Week and was the opening film of the Canada First! section at the Toronto International Film Festival.