Lelouch toys with ‘Roman’ credits

Veteran director shot film under pseudonym

Herve Picard, your 15 minutes of fame are over.

It turns out that “Roman de Gare,” the French thriller starring Fanny Ardant that will screen at Cannes, is not the work of the tyro director but of Claude Lelouch.

The veteran helmer shot the film, using mostly his own money, under the pseudonym to hide his involvement initially. He revealed the masquerade only recently, 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 tells Variety. “I made it with my own money, no distributor and no TV channel was involved.”

Only outside coin came from the authority of 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,” flopped, the project was curtailed, and the helmer reckons to have lost E10 million.

He bankrolled “Roman de Gare” himself through TV sales deals on his catalog of 40 films, including one with pay TV platform TPS.

He’s hoping to recoup some of that money via distribution deals after the pic screens in Cannes under the dual banner of the fest’s 60th anni and Lelouch’s 50 years as a filmmaker.

As for Picard, there’ll be no mention of him in the credits roll.

“He’s a real person,” Lelouch says. “He’s my best friend, but he is a tennis player, not a filmmaker.”

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