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Alain Chabat sets down in LA for shoot of Quentin Dupieux's Réalité

EXCLUSIVE: Film [pictured], also featuring Elodie Bouchez and Jon Heder, is currently shooting in Los Angeles.

Popular French comedian Alain Chabat is in Los Angeles for the shoot of Quentin Dupieux’s latest production Réalité in which he plays a horror film director desperately searching for the perfect scream.

Chabat joins an ensemble cast also featuring French Elodie Bouchez and Jonathan Lambert as well as American Jon Heder and Eric Wareheim plus surprise guest appearances and cameos by the likes of Roxane Mesquida and John Glover.

‘It’s the tale of a lost director, played by Alain Chabat, who has 48 hours to find the perfect scream for his horror movie in order to get it produced,” said Gregory Bernard of Paris-based Realitism Films, who also produced Dupieux’s Rubber and Wrong.

The mainly French-picture, with some English dialogue, is at the tail end of a six-week shoot in and around Los Angeles, in various locations including Hollywood, Malibu, Simi Valley, Santa Clarita, Santa Monica and Burbank.

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Dupieux wrote the first draft of Réalité before embarking on his 2010 debut feature Rubber and always had Chabat in mind for the lead role, revealed Bernard.

“We knew Alain loved the project since the start but he has been extremely busy the last two years so it was difficult to find six weeks of availability… but it was such an absolute dream for us to work with him that we decided to wait as long as needed, shooting three films before we got a yes. Alain Chabat is like a godfather to us: the freedom he brought to the industry in France is a model I would like to follow,” said Bernard.

It has been a busy year for Chabat: aside from finishing and launching the French box office hit comedy Houba! On the Trail of the Marsupilami, the actor also found time to hit the set of Michel Gondry’s upcoming Blue Indigo and Anthony Marciano intergenerational comedy Brats.

Realitism Films is handling international sales on Réalité directly. Film finance veteran Christine Ponelle, who recently joined Realitism as CFO, is at the AFM to drum up additional finance for Réalité and find a buyer for North American rights. Bernard is also in attendance.

Réalité was to have been Dupieux’s first film set on French soil but after delays in securing finance back home, Dupieux and Bernard decided to lower the budget, originally set at $3.9m, and return to the US, where they have already shot three features in the last two years.

“We have a great team here that we’ve been working with for a while and the eco-system is kind of working for us,” says Bernard. “We’ve secured the budget for the shoot with huge efforts from Quentin, the cast and the production, and as well as strong support from the CNC (National Cinema Centre) and SOFICA tax incentive funds Banque Postale Image and Manon and now we’re organising the finance for post-production.”

Dupieux’s last film Wrong is screening at the AFI Fest on Friday (Nov 2) and Monday (Nov 5) after premiering in competition at Sundance and in France at the Deauville American film festival. Drafthouse Films will release the picture in the US in early 2013.

As well as Réalité, Dupieux is also completing his episodic feature Wrong Cops, starring Mark Burnham as a dodgy, music-mad cop alongside different guest actors such as Marilyn Manson. Ponelle is also handling sales on that title too.

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