Nils Tavernier sets off on L'épreuve d'une vie
by Fabien Lemercier
20/06/2012 - According to our information, Nils Tavernier (photo) will start shooting his second fiction feature film, L'épreuve d'une vie (lit. “The challenge of a lifetime”), next weekend in Nice. After Aurore [trailer] in 2006, the director, who has also made several documentaries, will once more tackle a poignant story, this time that of a father and his son with Cerebral Palsy preparing for a triathlon. The film is the feature performances by Jacques Gamblin (nominated for a Cesar for best actor in 2009 and 2011 for The First Day of the Rest of Your Life [trailer] and The Names of Love [trailer], and who recently appeared in The First Man [trailer] by Gianni Amelio), Alexandra Lamy (Ricky [trailer], Maddened by His Absence [trailer]), and Fabien Héraud.
The screenplay, written by the director (Bertrand Tavernier’s son) with Pierre Leyssieux and Laurent Bertoni, focuses on a family living in a little village up in the Alps. Paul and Claire have two children: Sophie (22 years old) and Julien (almost 18 years old), who suffers from Cerebral Palsy and who hasn’t been able to walk or talk since he was little. Paul has had trouble coping with his son’s disability and has slowly drifted away from him over the years. Julien goes to the rehabilitation institute several times a week and spends the rest of his time with his family. He is very close to his sister and his best friend Johan, but is sad that his father is so distant and dreams of sharing something big with him. One day, Julien challenges his father to take part in a triathlon with him. They will both have to train hard if they want to succeed. It’s quite a challenge: Paul will have to swim a long distance pulling Julien behind him in a blow-up canoe, then complete a cycling race with Julien in a bucket seat, and finally push his wheelchair over many miles to the finishing line. The challenge may seem impossible, but it will bring father and son together during the long days that they spend training for it up in the mountains.
Produced by Philippe Boëffard and Christophe Rossignon for Nord-Ouest Films, L'épreuve d'une vie will be shot in nine weeks. Filming will start on June 23 and 24 during Nice’s Ironman Triathlon, before two more months of shooting from the end of August. The film has been pre-sold to Canal +, while all its rights (distribution in France, video edition, and international sales) have been acquired by Pathé.
(Translated from French)