William Hurt is to co-star with Catherine Deneuve in Au Plus Pres du Paradis (Nearest To Heaven), the next film by award-winning French director Tonie Marshall.

French sales outfit Flach Pyramide International is launching pre-sales in Cannes on the $7m title - which will be shot in both French and English - about a French female novelist who falls in love with a US photographer during a trip to New York.

Marshall won six Cesar awards in 1999 for Venus Beaute Institut, including best film and best director. Au Plus Pres du Paradis will start shooting this summer.

FPI's 2001 Cannes slate also includes four films in selection in Cannes including two main competition titles: Lukewarm Water Under A Red Bridge and La Repetition (Replay), starring Emmanuelle Beart.