Exception, the company minted out of former StudioCanal boutique Wild Bunch, has announced it is adding co-production to its activities.

The outfit, started by former Wild Bunch and StudioCanal executives Vincent Maraval, Alain de la Mata, Vincent Grimond and Brahim Chioua will now provide an international co-producing service alongside its principal business of international sales.

Former Canal Plus foreign acquisitions director Juliette Renaud will head up the division with an aim to provide complementary financing avenues to independent producers. While that could entail straight co-production activities, Exception has also set itself a goal of helping producers to access increasingly attractive soft money options.

As the TV pre-sales business dries up, Exception's move is a savvy one providing outsiders the opportunity to cash in on such benefits as tax shelters (or Soficas), co-production accords and private investments. Exception will in some cases hold the international sales mandate for the films with which the new co-production arm is involved.

First up on Exception's slate is an animated adaptation of l'Enfant Lion originally produced in 1993 as well as the next directorial effort from Asia Argento. Budgets for both films are in the process of being raised and each will be spotlighted during the French Cinema Rendez-vous organised by Unifrance at the end of this week.