Cannes: Alain Guiraudie Develops ‘Pays Perdu’ After ‘Staying Vertical’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Alain Guiraudie, whose latest film “Staying Vertical” is playing in competition at Cannes, is set to reteam with producer Sylvie Pialat on “Pays Perdu,” a drama set in a floundering milk factory in rural France.

Guiraudie won the Un Certain Regard prize two years ago with subversive erotic thriller “Strangers by the Lake.” “Staying Vertical” marks Guiraudie’s first film playing in competition.

“Pays Perdu” will turn on a human resources topper who travels to a milk factory in the middle of southern France with the mission to shut it down, but decides to take it over after meeting its workers and falling in love with one of them. While the film’s pitch seems mainstream, Guiraudie said he’s working on giving “Pays Perdu” greater depth. “I also aspire to make films that have a political, social, utopian, existential dimensions as well as a mythological, ‘bigger than life’ dimension,” said Guiraudie, who is co-developing the film with Pialat at Les Films du Worso.

Like “Staying Vertical,” the idea behind “Pays Perdu” is to portray rural France in a way that is seldom shown in French cinema with the exception of movies by Jean-Marie and Arnaud Larrieu or Bruno Dumont, whose “Slack Bay” also competes at this year’s festival, Guiraudie told Variety.

His latest film, “Staying Vertical,” centers around Leo, a young filmmaker facing an existential crisis who has to raise his newborn baby solo after getting dumped by his free-spirited girlfriend in a remote province located in France’s Lozere. Leo embarks on a trip across the wilderness with his baby to find inspiration for his next film and look for a that which is threatening locals.

Wild Bunch is selling “Staying Vertical,” which was produced by Pialat and Benoît Quainon for les Films du Worso (“Timbuktu”).

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