Production starring Pierre Niney [pictured] as the legendary fashion designer is due to start rolling in May.

Paris-based SND has been racking up sales on Jalil Lespert’s upcoming bio-pic Yves Saint Laurent, capturing the lives of the legendary fashion designer and his long-term partner Pierre Bergé, following a glamorous launch at the Paris Rendez-vous last month.

So far, Entertainment One has picked up UK, Canada and Australia and AB Svensk, Scandinavia. The film has also sold to Russia and the CIS (Top Film Distribution), Portugal (Lusomundo), Poland (ITI Cinema) and the Middle East (Italia Films).

Lionel Uzan, head of acquisitions and sales at M6-owned SND, is also expecting to close on Germany, Italy, Benelux, Switzerland and Czech Republic at the EFM. He is also in active negotiations for Latin America, Japan and South Korea.

“The script written by Marie Pierre Huster and Jalil Lespert totally convinced the buyers of the incredible potential of this story and of the film. I’m all the more happy that we already have on board top-notch distributors and strong partners and more to come,” said Uzan.

The upcoming film — featuring a youthful cast led by Pierre Niney as Yves Saint Laurent, Guillaume Gallienne as Bergé, German Moritz Bleibtreu as designer Karl Lagerfeld and Charlotte Le Bon as one of YSL’s muses – is due to start rolling in May.

The $16m (€12m) feature is lead produced by Wassim Béji of Wy Productions – the production company he co-founded in 2002 with Yannick Bolloré, who also heads up the media activities of his family’s business empire. It is Lespert’s third feature after 24 Measures and Headwinds (Des Vents Contraires) — both of which were produced by Wy.

SND and Bergé, who has fully endorsed the film, treated buyers to a classy launch party for the production at the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent in Paris during the Paris Rendez-vous in January.

Part of the production will be shot at the foundation which houses the late designer’s atelier as well as some 5,000 garments, 15,000 accessories and 35,000 sketches.

“Director Jalil Lespert was on hand alongside Pierre Niney and Pierre Bergé, who talked about his support for the film and how the first time he saw Pierre Niney he thought he was looking at Yves,” said Uzan.

“Our project has received Pierre Bergé’s full support and authorization. We are the only ones allowed to use the Yves Saint Laurent dresses, sketches, designs and all his creations which look amazing on the big screen,” he added. “Making a movie about the greatest fashion designer of all time without the ability to show the dresses would be like making La Vie En Rose without having Piaf songs!”