Shooting has just started on Skylab, a loosely autobiographical family comedy written and directed by Julie Delpy and produced by Michael Gentile’s Paris-based outfit The Film.

Julie Delpy
Producer: Michael Gentile (The Film)
Cast: Eric Elmosnino, Julie Delpy, Noemie Lvovsky, Aure Atika, Bernadette Lafon
Budget: 4.5m Euros
Financing: Canal +, France 2 Cinema, regional funding from Brittany
International Sales: Films Distribution,
Distribution: Mars Films (France)
Language: French
Countries of Production: France
Status: Shooting in Brittany June 1-July 10
Synopsis: The film centres around a family get together in Brittany, France in the summer of 1979, when the country feared that a NASA space station might fall from the sky and hit France.

About the project:Skylab is the first collaboration between French actor turned director Julie Delpy and producer Michael Gentile, who set up his Paris based production company The Film in 2005 and has credits including Vinyan and The Time That Remains. Despite its title, the film is less about a NASA space station and more about complex family relationships. “The film is set in a period which is not that far from now, but when there were no cell phones, no internet, and people had to communicate in a different way. There are all the issues of a family when you have four generations together and lots of strong characters in a family. It’s very funny, very witty, and there is a lot of tenderness,” says Gentile. “It’s a comedy, but also a homage to Julie’s family and a portrait of France from someone who is totally French but has spent 20 years in LA.”

Skylab is Delpy’s fourth turn in the director’s chair, following Looking For Jimmy, The Countess and Two Days In Paris and as in her previous features, she also appears in front of the camera. Gentile says: “The way she directs, edits, the way she writes and the dialogue, she has a specific touch, that you saw in Two Days in Paris and we will see in this one, although every film she makes is unique.”

“I have worked with different directors, and I am amazed by the fact, that she knows exactly what she wants, she is very precise,” he adds. “It’s wonderful for the crew because she brings great spirit and humour, but also she knows exactly what she wants. She writes, she directs, she acts, sometimes she writes the music. I mean, Wow! You have to say, who else does that!”

Next up: Gentile is working on a film adaptation of Atiq Rahimi’s international bestseller Syngue Sabour, which is being financed by Studio Francais and Orange and is due to start shooting in October. Meanwhile Delpy is developing a follow up to her 2007 film Two Days in Paris, this time set in New York.