Julie Delpy Uses European Film Prize to Raise Money for 'My Zoe'

Julie Delpy - H 2016
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The French multihyphenate, who was receiving an award in Berlin, called on the audience to buy raffle tickets to help her gap finance her new movie, which just lost a key backer.

Julie Delpy apparently will do whatever it takes to make her movie.

The French actress, director and Oscar-nominated screenwriter turned an awards ceremony into a fundraiser Saturday night when she called on members of the European Film Academy to pony up for her new film, My Zoe.

Delpy was being honored at the 30th European Film Awards with the European Achievement in World Cinema prize. But after thanking the Academy, she turned to more practical matters, discussing the problems completely financing for her new project, planned as her sixth feature as a director.

Delpy this week revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that a key financier of My Zoe suddenly pulled out shortly before it was set to go to prep. She told the EFA audience that she still needed $600,000 "before December 15" if the project was to begin shooting as planned early next year.

Pulling up a bundle of tickets, Delpy said she would be raffling off a chance to have breakfast with her the next day in Berlin. In addition, she said she would be selling off bit roles in My Zoe for anyone interested.

"People think I'm joking, but I'm not," Delpy said. "I will do anything to make my film!"

Speaking to THR, Delpy said the financier gave “bluntly sexist” reasons for pulling its money out of her film.

“'Women directors are emotional, women are unreliable,'” Delpy quoted the financier as saying. “They told me that to my face in a meeting! They made their decision [to pull money from the film] on nothing except the fact I was a woman.”

Delpy has found a replacement investor but is currently trying to find more new backers for the film — which she wrote and is set to star in alongside Richard Armitage, Gemma Arterton and Daniel Bruhl — to close the financing gap.

The drama, focuses on Isabelle (Delpy), a mother who shares custody of her daughter Zoe with her ex-husband (Armitage). But when tragedy strikes the fractured family, Isabelle takes matters into her own hands. Bruhl and Arterton play a couple to whom Isabelle turns for help.

My Zoe was set to follow such Delpy-directed features as 2 Days in Paris and 2 Days in New York and French-language comedies Skylab and Lolo. The film was set up as a Europe-U.S. co-production, with New York-based Magnolia Mae Films, France's Electrick Films, Bruhl's Amusement Park Films and British firm Baby Cow producing. Protagonist is handling international sales.

The original schedule would have seen My Zoe go into prep in mid-December for an early 2018 shoot.