Protagonist Pictures has concluded sales in several territories for Israel Horovitz’s feature debut My Old Lady, starring Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline and Kristin Scott Thomas; shooting to begin in Paris on Sept 26.

The film has sold to the UK (Curzon Film World), Australia and New Zealand (Hopscotch/eOne), Germany and Switzerland (Ascot Elite), Scandinavia (Svensk), Benelux (Imagine), South Africa (Nu Metro), Israel (Lev Films), Greece and Cyprus (Feelgood), Middle East (Front Row), Portugal (Lusomundo), and Airlines (EIM).

Cohen Media Group’s acquistition of the film for North America was announced last week.

The cast is led by Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline, Kristin Scott Thomas and Dominique Pinon.

BBC Films is backing the project.

The film is written by Horovitz, on whose award-winning play the screenplay is based. Horovitz’ screenwriting credits include Istvan Szabo’s Sunshine, Author! Author!, and Cannes Prix du Jury winner The Strawberry Statement.

In My Old Lady, Kline plays Mathias, a down-and-out New Yorker who travels to Paris to liquidate a huge, valuable apartment he has inherited from his estranged father. Once there, however, he discovers a refined old woman Mathilde (Smith) living in the apartment with her daughter Chloé (Scott Thomas).

Mathias quickly learns that the apartment is a “viager” - an ancient French system for buying and selling apartments - and that he will not actually get possession of the apartment until Mathilde dies. While working with a Parisian real-estate dealer (Pinon), to sell his contract for the apartment, Mathias discovers that Mathilde and his father were lovers for more than 50 years.

The film is produced by Rachael Horovitz, Oscar-nominated producer of Moneyball, Grey Gardens and About Schmidt, and Gary Foster (Sleepless in Seattle, The Soloist). Also producing are Nitsa Benchetrit and David Barrot.

Co-producing in Paris are David Atrakchi, Boris Mendza and Gael Cabouat for Fulldawa Films.

Charles Cohen and Daniel Battsek will executive produce for CMG, while BBC Films’ Joe Oppenheimer and Christine Langan will executive produce for BBC Films.