EXCLUSIVE: Picture starring Mathieu Amalric, Maïwenn, Sara Forestier, Denis Podalydes and Karine Viard due to start shooting on Feb 12 in Alps.

Gaumont has picked up international sales on the Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu’s upcoming romance noir Love is the Perfect Crime on the eve of the film’s shoot in the French and Swiss Alps.

The picture is an adaptation of Philippe Djian’s romantic thriller Incidences, which centres on the mysterious disappearance of a student after a night with her literature professor and the latter’s encounter with her attractive stepmother who comes knocking in search of the girl.

Mathieu Amalric stars as fortysomething literature professor Marc, a confirmed bachelor with a penchant for affairs with his female students, opposite Sara Forestier as the missing student, Barbara; Maïwenn as the stepmother, Anna, and Karine Viard as Marc’s sister.

Industry veteran Bruno Pesery, whose recent credits include the Larrieu brothers’ Happy End and Le Voyage aux Pyrénées as well as Gianni Amelio’s recent The First Man, is producing.

Greenlit at the beginning of this week, the film is due to start shooting in the French mountain resort of Megève on Feb 12 before moving to Switzerland. Arte Cinema is also backing the picture.

Incidences is the forth Djian work adapted for the big screen by French filmmakers. Jean-Jacques Beineix’s Betty Blue was based on his 37°2 le matin, the inspiration, and André Téchiné adapted Unforgivable.

“Adapting Philippe Djian’s novel Incidences for the cinema, we wanted to film a love story that borrows from both film noir and comedy. Or a thriller told like a love story. Or a film noir, but in which the criminal has forgotten that he is the perpetrator of the crime,” explained the brothers in a joint director’s note.

“The story is built on an initial ellipse that allows both for exonerating the main character, or in any case for participating in his denial or his ‘lapses of memory’,” they added.

Love is the Perfect Crime is the Larrieu Brothers sixth collaboration after recent pictures Happy End and Directors’ Fortnight screeners Le Voyage aux Pyrénées and To Paint or Make Love.