After €150 guerrilla film Donoma, director kicks off €2.7 million feature Faire L’Amour, produced by Realitism Films and backed by Arte and Pathé.

Djinn Carrénard, who scooped France’s prestigious Louis Delluc prize last year for his €150 guerrilla picture Donoma, has started shooting his second feature Faire L’Amour.

“It’s a passionate love story between a musician, who is going deaf, and a young woman on one week’s home leave from prison – their love is born amid a sense of urgency,” says Carrénard.

The pair hooks up when the young woman comes to stay with her sister, an airhostess who is the long-time partner of the musician. This relationship also plays out in the backdrop.

Budgeted at €2.7 million, Faire L’Amour is produced by Grégory Bernard and Diane Jassem of Paris-based Realitism Films, who boarded the film back in 2010.

The company, founded by Bernard in 2007, also works closely with DJ turned director Quentin Dupieux. It produced his last two features Rubber and Wrong and is also working on his upcoming French-language picture Realité.

The production has secured funding from France’s National Cinema Centre (CNC), Arte France Cinema and Pathé, which will distribute locally and handle international sales.

The shoot — located mainly in Paris and nearby Versailles as well as briefly in the Spanish town of Valencia — kicked off on April 23 for nine weeks.

Faire L’Amour, explains Carrénard, plays on themes already explored in Donoma, which revolved around the dynamics of several, unknowingly interconnected Paris couples.

“I wrote Faire L’Amour before shooting Donoma. Having focused on one couple in a very particular situation I wanted to explore lots of different couples in a freer way and that was how Donoma was born,” reveals the director.

Like Donoma, Faire L’Amour will also feature a mainly amateur, first-time cast – this time drawn from a series of acting workshops conducted by Carrénard earlier this year.

The production set-up, however, is very different from Donoma, which captured the imagination of the French press last year on the back of its tiny €150 budget and innovative release campaign.

Shot in 2009 on a micro-budget with a borrowed Sony camcorder and basic wireless microphones to record the dialogue, Donoma premiered in Cannes in 2010 as part of the Association for the Distribution of Independent Cinema (ACID) sidebar.

There, it received a handful of festival invites and was circled by the likes of EuropaCorp, Jour2Fête and Epicentre but a distribution failed to materialise.  

Frustrated by the film’s lack of visibility, Carrénard decided to release the film under his own steam with the support of Commune Image Média – a production hub on the outskirts of Paris home to 20 independent companies - and key members of the cast including Salomé Blechmans, Emilia Derou Bernal and Sékouba Doucouré.

Together they organised a series of “happenings”, including a packed 2,800-person screening of the picture at the iconic Art Deco Grand Rex Cinema in central Paris.

“There were ten of us on the team and we were charged with each contacting 50 people a day to sell tickets. In the evening we would hand out flyers,” says Blechmans, one of Carrénard’s closest collaborators. “24 hours before the screening we had only sold about 1,000 tickets but a lot of people turned up on the night.”

The filmmaker and crew then took the film on tour across France in a bus emblazoned with the Donoma Guerrilla Tour logo, stopping off in some 20 towns, announcing their arrival circus style with loud speakers and flyers.

Faire L’Amour, which will be distributed by Pathé, is likely to get a very different release from Donoma.

“I wonder how I’m going to feel about handing it over to someone else after our experiences on Donoma,” says Carrénard, somewhat wistfully. 

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