Sunday, October 31, 2010

Make Your Village A Star!

RendezVous Films  is producing a romantic comedy feature film called Kiss the Frog  in which an American businesswoman falls in love with a French farmer. Most of the story takes place in a tiny and remote village in the South of France and production will begin in April. Now they just need to find the village.

Writer/director Kevin Dole describes Kiss the Frog as “my love letter to France.” He and his family have been here many times and their experiences inspired the story.  Kevin believes there are hundreds—maybe thousands--of villages which would work but since he can only choose one, it has to be perfect. So he’s spreading the word and asking for help.

The ideal village will be small and historic with a remote, isolated feel.  It needs to have a small square for a farmers’ market and a village festival. Its houses should be mostly stone and be maison mitoyennes, sharing common walls.  It can be anywhere in the south: from the Italian border down through Languedoc-Roussillon to the foothills of the Pyrénées.

But Kevin and the producers are looking for more than just a pretty face.  They’ll ultimately choose the village based not just on what’s best for the film but on how the production might benefit the community as well.

“I want to find a village with a compelling story so that the project, the making of the film, takes on even more meaning,”  he says.  “I know there were villages devastated by terrible windstorms a couple years ago; others which have suffered from declines in the wine industry.  I know some have lost so many of their young people to the city that they’re almost ghost towns.  I want to find one which is both ideal for the film AND which, by being chosen, might be revitalized--which is exactly what happens in our story.  A location scout rarely has the time to learn the story of the places they photograph.  Only the residents can tell us this.”

Kevin tells me that the production pledges to:

* Hire as many local services as possible.
* Hire as many local workers as possible.
* Credit and promote the village as the film's location, if desired.
* Care for the village and leave it in the same or better condition.

Logistical requirements are: roads accessible by trucks and buses, accommodations nearby for a cast and crew of up to 100 people and residents who’ll welcome the disruption and excitement of production for 8-10 weeks.

“The village of my dreams should have character and charm which inspires the devotion of its residents but may not be apparent to casual visitors,” Kevin adds.  “The level of restoration is unimportant.  We’re not making a superficial ‘postcard’ of France, but rather offering a glimpse of its heart, disguised within a comédie romantique.”

If you live in or know of the perfect village, please click here 
and fill out the research form in French, if possible.  (The page includes directions for sending photos and you can click the link “Retour” for a descriptive page, also in French.)  Or you can email Kevin directly: village@kissthefrogmovie.com.  Or, simply leave a comment by clicking COMMENT below. RendezVous Films is seeking village nominations until January 1, 2011. If you’d like to learn more about the movie, you can watch a video here and visit the main website here

15 comments:

  1. What a wonderful idea for a film~ I shall be waiting to see which village they choose.
    I loved the film "Chocolat" set in a little village and also "Avoir et Etre" set in a very isolated village.
    If I were the Director I would choose Caromb near to Carpentras.
    Have a lovely week!
    ~Dianne~

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  2. seems like a good idea and i hope it will work out as good. but knowing Provence i think there are better chances to finding "la perle rare" looking into Languedoc Roussillon or even nearer to Pyrenees since Provence is too sought after as destination with lots of sun seeking "foreigners" (that is anyone not of provencal birth) establishing here and the villages are normally just suburbs to near by towns.
    good luck fot the search!

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  3. I have spent all my vacations in France over the past 50 years. And I was still surprised when I was in Gensac (between Bordeaux and Bergerac). Such typical French atmosphere I have seldom come across in France. See for some pictures Google Earth. Erik Wuite, The Netherlands, www.erwuprojects.nl

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  4. Come to Tarascon, a beautiful medieval town, thats large enough to house a full production team and not over developed. A lot of films are made down here, and there are great local crews (including myself, I am a costume designer!).

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  5. My husband & I are going to give careful consideration to proposing our little jewel. It seems to have a lot of the requirements for just such a film.
    Maria

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  6. On Provence Coast: Sanary, Ollioules, Evenos, Le Castellet, Le Beausset, La Cadiere, Saint Maximin, Sainte Beaume

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  7. On Provence Coast: Sanary, Ollioules, Evenos, Le Castellet, Le Beausset, La Cadiere, Saint Maximin, Sainte Beaume

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  8. Along Provence Coast : Aubagne, Cassis, Saint Cyr, Bandol, Sanary and Ollioules, Evenos, Le Castellet, La Cadiere, Le Beausset, Saint Maximin, Saint Beaume, Around Draguignan

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  9. Grambois in the Luberon region would be great. I'm not sure if it has financial problems but it has a square, it's a village perche, there are places to stay and has a great ambience.

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  10. Mallemort between Aix and Avignon is a small perched village with a big centre de vacances outside of town, Pierre and Vacances that could house 100 workers.

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  12. ditdit is right about Mallemort de Provence (not to be confused with Malemort du Comtat). Perfect view as you approach it from the N7 (coming from Avignon); easy to reach by that same main road. The nearby commune of Pont Royal de Provence (Pierre&Vacances village) along with the Moulin de Vernègues could accommodate the crew.... Even a round of golf during free time.

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  13. ditdit is right about Mallemort de Provence (not to be confused with Malemort du Comtat). Perfect view as you approach it from the N7 (coming from Avignon); easy to reach by that same main road. The nearby commune of Pont Royal de Provence (Pierre&Vacances village) along with the Moulin de Vernègues could accommodate the crew.... Even a round of golf during free time.

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  15. Thezier in Gard is a good candidate.

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