Polish film-maker Jerzy Skolimowski, who won awards at both Cannes and Berlin, is set to return to film-making after a 10-year absence.

Working with producer Jeremy Thomas, Skolimowski is developing Las Vegas-set project: The System on a budget likely to be around $12m, with the director aiming for an autumn shoot in Nevada.

Thomas' sales outfit, HanWay has been in talks with a number of international buyers since last month's AFM, including a leading North American distributor.

Skolimowski, who picked up a lifetime achievement award at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival this week, was responsible for a string of critical hits although sustained box office success eluded him.

His reputation was established by Le Depart in 1967, which won Berlin's Golden Bear, after which he became a favourite of Cannes.

Six of his films appeared in competition in Cannes from 1972-1989, with The Shout winning the grand jury prize in 1978, Moonlighting winning the screenplay award in 1982, and The Lightship taking the special jury prize in 1985.

His reputation was damaged by the failure of Ferdydurke in 1992 and he has not made another film since, although he has taken minor acting roles in Mars Attacks!, LA Without A Map and Before Night Falls.

In recent years Skolimowski has devoted his attentions to oil painting, with several Hollywood stars owning his work, including Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson. Cannes president Gilles Jacob is said to be considering using one of Skolimowski's paintings as the basis for next year's Cannes poster. He has also served on the juries of the Thessaloniki, Cannes and Venice film festivals.

Skolimowski, who lives in Los Angeles, has been developing the script with NYU film school graduate Eric Roberts. The film centres on the true story of two Polish brothers who succeeded in developing a system for winning at roulette. The film is set in 1980 and ends in the death of the elder brother in the MGM hotel fire in Las Vegas.

Skolimowski first worked with Thomas on The Shout, an adaptation of a Robert Graves short story, in 1978. Both men are to be given Polish Eagle awards in Warsaw on 15 March; Skolimowski picks up an award for lifetime achievement in film-making and Thomas receives his award in recognition of his 'importance in world cinema'.