Roman de Gare: Claude (A Man and A Woman) Lelouch, the Mysterious Director

Cannes Film Fest 2007–“Roman de Gare,” the French thriller starring Fanny Ardant that will screen at Cannes Film Fest, is not the work of first-time helmer Picard but of Claude Lelouch.

The vet helmer shot the film, using his own money, under the pseudonym to hide his involvement. He revealed the secret, when he screened the film for Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux.

“I made “Roman de Gare” in secret to have some peace, to be free to make the film that I wanted,” Lelouch told the press. “I made it with my own money, no distributor and no TV channel was involved.”

The only outside finance came from the Burgundy wine growing region, which features in the film along with other parts of France.

Lelouch’s last two films were supposed to have been part of a trilogy, but when the first, “Les Parisiens,” failed, the project was cancelled.

He bankrolled “Roman de Gare” himself through TV sales deals on his catalog of 40 films, including one with pay TV platform TPS. Lelouch hopes to recoup some of that money via distribution deals after the film screens in Cannes under the banner of the fest’s 60th anni and Lelouch’s 50 years as a filmmaker.

As for Herve Picard, he will not be mentioned in the credits, though he is a “real” person–a tennis player and friend of Lelouch.