Frenchman’s bid to remove the shame of having the name Kevin

A filmmaker called Kevin is set to make a documentary to investigate the origins of the negative associations surrounding the name in France

A Hollywood Walk of Fame star with Kevin Costner written on it
The name Kevin became popular in the 1990s, partly due to the rise of Hollywood stars such as Kevin Costner, but has since become a source of mockery in France
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A new documentary is being shot by a man in France who became sick of the negative associations surrounding the name ‘Kevin’, in a bid to discover why the name is mocked, and to break through these assumptions.

In France, the name Kevin (sometimes written as Kévin) became increasingly popular in the 1990s, spurred on by then-blockbuster Hollywood star Kevin Costner, the child Kevin McCallister, played by Macaulay Culkin in the Christmas hit Home Alone, and Kevin McAllister from 90s boyband the Backstreet Boys.

Yet, the name has since become a source of mockery, and is now more associated with ideas such as a lower-class, illiterate man, or a cheesy reality TV star. It often appears at the top of lists such as ‘The top 10 worst names’.

The name reached a peak in 1991 in France, and has since been on the decline.

Freelance director and motion designer Kevin Fafournoux, 34, is now creating a new, semi-comedic documentary to investigate the clichés that exist around his name, and to address the shame and prejudices that surround it.

He says that the negative connotations of the name can cause professional and personal issues.

The film, called Sauvons les Kevin (Let’s Save the Kevins), will be shot mainly in France, but the director will also travel to Germany, where a smartphone app called ‘the Kevin-O-meter’ has been created to indicate names that could cause children problems in future.

Mr Fafournoux will also discover the origin of the name in Ireland, where Saint Kevin first appeared.

The film is also set to examine “what defines us as individuals” and how each person arrives at a sense of their own identity.

The filmmaker launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise €8,000 to finance the project, and hit the goal several days before the deadline.

If the funding hits €10,000, Mr Fafournoux will organise a ‘big aperitif’ event in Paris, to which ‘all Kevins’ are invited. If it hits €12,000, he will organise a screening of the film at a major cinema, with all patrons and Kevins invited.

People named Kevin appear to be having a good year so far; in the recent legislative elections, two people named Kevin became the first with their name to take part.

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