The farthest point south on our scout was the village of Collobrières. We went there to meet Alex Caronia, a producer who lives in nearby Saint-Tropez and also works in the U.S. Collobrières feels like a village you might find on the Spanish border, with a central square where everything is happening. We arrived in Collobrières on market day and the square was bustling with vendors selling fresh fruits and vegetables, which were being served to customers, ourselves included, at the local cafés. This region is considered as the “capital of the sweet chestnut” and produces around 200 metric tons of chestnuts every year. We sampled the chestnut ice cream on our way out of town.
Collobrières is surrounded by a channel that runs underneath two village cafés and through parts of the town. Palm trees are plentiful in this southern provence and with the Mediterranean less than ten kilometers away, it’s a tropical climate. I didn’t see our film being produced here, and the purpose of the visit was as much to meet with Alex and discuss the intricacies of shooting a feature film in France as it was to see the village. We met Alex through one of the key crew members on my last film, and he’s certainly qualified to lead us through the maze when it comes time for production. I would put Collobrières high on the list of places you should see if you’re ever in the south of France, but as a film location it has its limitations.