Vanessa Paradis to star in 'Cafe de flore'

Jean-Marc Vallee will direct French-language film

Vanessa Paradis will star in "Cafe de flore," a time-spanning love story that marks director Jean-Marc Vallee's return to French-language filmmaking.

French-Canadian Vallee wrote and directed 2005's "C.R.A.Z.Y.," his award-winning 1970s-set breakthrough, then directed the Emily Blunt period movie "Young Victoria," released last year. He began writing "Cafe" just before he took on the Graham King-produced "Victoria."

"I have been writing it since 2007, and when I was offered 'Young Victoria,' a love story, I thought why not do it, it will be good practice," said Vallee, who also directs. "I see this as a continuation of 'C.R.A.Z.Y,' which gave me the confidence and the wings to fly high."

Vallee describes "Cafe" as "an epic love story that deals with supernatural resources." It tells two stories, one set in the 1960s and follows a mother of a child with Down syndrome, and the other set in the present day and centering on a couple. Paradis plays the mother.

Principal photography begins this summer in Montreal, then moves to Paris.

"Cafe" will be a Canada-France co-production with Montreal-based Item7 and Crazyfilms and Paris-based Monkey Pack Films. Pierre Even and Marie-Claude Poulin are producing for Item7; Jean-Yves Robin, Nicolas Coppermann and Vanessa Fourgeaud co-produce for Monkey Pack; and Vallee produces for Crazyfilms.

Item7, the new production venture of industry veterans Even and Poulin, is putting the finishing touches on "Life Begins" from first-time director Michel Monty.

Monkey Pack is the feature film division of Paris-based Robin & Co. It recently co-produced the Gerard Depardieu-starring "Mammuth," which played in competition this year at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Paradis, the partner of Johnny Depp, is a French pop singer-turned-actress who recently did voicework for the French animated film "Un monstre a Paris."
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