Having appeared in too many less than mediocre films, actor Omar Sharif had decided no longer to appear in films, because he didn't believe that he would be offered another meaningful role. He did, however, still read any scripts that were sent to him. And when he read the script for Monsieur Ibrahim, he immediately knew that he wanted to make the film.
To shoot the sunset scene at the place with the columns by the sea, actors and crew drove 12 hours from Istanbul, filmed the scene in the evening, then traveled another 12 hours back to Istanbul. In his DVD commentary, Omar Sharif describes this as the most exhausting day in his entire life.
When the producer suggested Omar Sharif for the role of Monsieur Ibrahim, director François Dupeyron was initially worried he might meet a disillusioned star who had seen it all and the socialite whom he had come to associate with adverts for racing bets.
The film had to be shot during school holidays, because in France there was a law prohibiting children to work on a film during the school term. And even then, filming is not allowed to take up the entire holidays. There were breaks during filming, bits being shot during various holidays of actor Pierre Boulanger.