Erick Zonca, the French writer-director of The Dreamlife Of Angels, is to make his English-language debut with National Lottery backing from UK film support body the Film Council's first round of single-project development funding.

Zonca secured $106,244 (£75,000), the largest single award the council has made from its development fund, for Julia. The council's investment in the thriller is the most high-profile sign to date of its pledge to invest in European films.

Renowned French production outfit Noe Productions, which recently produced Danis Tanovic's Cannes discovery No Man's Land, is producing.

Other highlights in the council's debut slate of single-project support include Kisses After Dark, which Terence Davies is writing and will direct. Norma Heyman is producing the comedy based on a true story, which secured $92,104 (£65,000).

Gods Of War, a war movie set in Roman Britain, was awarded $34,000 (£24,000). Written by Dominic Morgan and Matthew Harvey of Fat Melon Films, the project tells the story of Julius Agricola, a young idealistic Roman soldier who takes part in one of the bloodiest wars ever fought on British soil.

Canteen Culture is a comedy thriller about six Metropolitan police officers who find themselves in possession of a million pounds in cash and a suitcase full of cocaine. Philip John, whose credits include Suckerfish and Sister Lulu, is to direct. Chips Hardy is adapting from the novel by Ike Eze-Anyika, while Simon Markham is producing for Loud Mouse Productions. The project was awarded $52,146 (£36,800).

Carol, a love story set in New York in the 1950s, is written by playwright Phyllis Nagy and adapted from the Patricia Highsmith novel. Dorothy Berwin is producing with a development award of $14,170 (£10,000).

Also in the works is The Dope Priest, an adaptation by Nicholas Blincoe of his own novel. The dark comedy thriller, which was awarded $36,841 (£26,000), is set against a backdrop of rising violence in the Middle East. Huda Abuzeid is producing, with Antonia Bird executive producing.

Family Entertainment is a romantic comedy about an unemployed pub trivia genius forced to take a more responsible outlook on life when his girlfriend falls pregnant. The project, awarded $7,510 (£5,300), is written by Christopher Payne and Matt Wilkinson, directed by Christopher Payne and produced by Gavin Emerson.

The Hangman's Apprentice, which was granted $4,251 (£3,000), is a revenge thriller set in 1920's Britain. Written by Dominic Morgan and Matthew Harvey of Fat Melon Films, it tells the story of a hangman who unwittingly employs an apprentice who wants to kill him.

Additionally, The Monday Club is a comedy about men failing to deal with life, love and relationships. Written and to be directed by James Wood, the picture secured $28,340 (£20,000). John Battsek, who won a best documentary Oscar for One Day In September, is producing.