Oliver Schmitz to direct Philomena star.

Steve Coogan

Steve Coogan (Philomena) is to star in Shepherds and Butchers, an apartheid-era drama about a jaded lawyer, who takes on a seemingly hopeless multiple murder case and uncovers scandalous shortcomings in South Africa’s capital punishment system.

The film will be directed by Oliver Schmitz, whose mother-daughter drama Life, Above All played in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard strand in 2010.

Anant Singh’s Distant Horizon will produce Shepherds and Butchers, which is due to shoot in South Africa in June and will be sold by WestEnd at Cannes.

Singh (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) and Brian Cox (Kite) are producing for Distant Horizon and Videovision Entertainment.

Executive producers are Sudhir Pragjee, Sanjeev Singh and Basil Ford.

Singh said: “We are pleased to be working with WestEnd Films as Eve, Sharon and their team are passionate about our film. We have been friends for a long time and have acquired their films for distribution for many years.”