Gilles Sandoz • Producer
by Fabien Lemercier
10/09/2005 - Producer for Maïa Films of the latest work by Philippe Garrel, Les Amants réguliers [trailer], screened in official competition at the Venice Mostra, Gilles Sandoz revisits for Cineuropa his desire to work with the filmmaker and the position of art-house and experimental films in France.
Why did you decide to produce Les Amants réguliers by Philippe Garrel?
It comes down to a past history and to friendship. I met Philippe Garrel at the start of the 90s somewhat outside the context of cinema. We saw each other again, now and then, without really wanting to do anything together. But I’ve been really taken with his work since the period of Les Baisers de secours and J’entends plus la guitare because I found it to be a cinema that told the story of my own life. Three years ago, we began to talk about the idea of working together, but it’s the realisation of a desire that I’ve had for fifteen years.
Was it difficult raising money for the film?
The film was so difficult to finance for that I wasn’t able to produce it as a feature film in the strict sense. No Advance on Receipts, and no TV network money and at one point I found myself almost in despair. And it was Pierre Chevalier from Arte who got us out of the impasse with panache and speed. It was one the last projects he signed off on before handing over the job. Les Amants réguliers was made then like a TV film. It’s the 15th TV film that I have produced for Arte Fiction and I feel good since it was a case of the liberty of cinema attaching itself to television. Even though there is a requirement for a preliminary broadcast on Arte, the film’s career will benefit all round from the network’s support.
You produce films very much in the vein Art and Experimental, with the new Nicolas Philibert, the next feature by Pascale Ferrand… What’s the current mood in France with regard to these types of film ?
The evidence shows that these productions are currently more difficult to get off the ground than they were before. I hope that it’s not definitive. Everyone knows that there was a tightening up at Canal +, and since to produce these films involves a longer preparation period, a deep reflection is required on how they can impose themselves on the market. These films are certainly less protected than before. However, I always wanted to work with Nicolas Philibert, Pascale Ferrand, Dominique Cabrera, Patricia Matuy, and eventually Cédric Kahn.
Will European cinephiles have the opportunity to see Les Amants réguliers in the theatres?
The film has already been sold to Italy, Austria and Greece and I think that will grow despite the fact that the print is a bit expensive due to the three hour duration of the film. But the theme of the film, the events of May ‘68, interests a lot of people. And since it’s a film about young people, that could attract the young people. And the personalities in charge of cinema, who are in their 50s, were very moved by Les Amants réguliers. Venice has put the film firmly in the spotlight.