Netflix is continuing to expand its international footprint with the launch of a Paris bureau, which follows Euro offices in Amsterdam and London and a recently announced production hub in Madrid, Spain.
A spokesperson for Netflix confirmed that the office will initially house around 20 employees, some of whom will be relocating from Amsterdam. The executives will work across production, acquisitions and marketing.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is in Paris today where the streaming giant made the announcement. He also confirmed that following discussions with France’s national film body, the CNC, the company will start to pay 2% tax on its annual revenues in France.
The company previously had a small office in Paris but that closed down in 2016 prompting speculation that the firm wanted to seek more advantageous tax arrangements elsewhere in Europe. Relations with France have been more challenged than most markets due to the Cannes Film Festival snafu and the country’s strict windowing policies. The firm’s European commitments have come under increased scrutiny from EU lawmakers in recent months. But Paris undoubtedly remains one of the most important film and TV hubs on the international map, so a local base makes a lot of sense.
Today, Netflix took the opportunity to reveal backing for a number of French film and TV projects, including three series and four film and documentary acquisitions.
Among the projects are Family Business (working title), a half-hour comedy about a young man who recruits his best friends to help save his family’s business by transforming their butcher shop into France’s first coffee shop. Creator is Igor Gotesman, producers are Les Films du Kiosque and Five Dogs. Meanwhile, Marianne will follow Emma, an acerbic young novelist who discovers the terrifying characters she writes in her bestselling series of horror novels might also be living in the real world. Created and directed by Samuel Bodin, it is being produced by Empreinte Digitale and Federation.
There will also be a series adapted from the book Vampires by Thierry Jonquet, in which a young rebellious teenage girl is faced with becoming a vampire. Creators are Benjamin Dupas and Isaure Pisani-Ferry. Pan Coeur will be a half-hour romantic comedy series co-directed by Noémie Saglio. It will launch by the end of the year.
French movie acquisitions include coming-of-age title Banlieusards, directed by Leila Sy and Kery James and written by Kery James. Casting includes Jammeh Diangana, Kery James, Bakary Diombera. La Grande Classe follows two best friends from a small town, now uber-Parisians, who decide to return to their hometown for a high school reunion with a secret agenda: take revenge on their former bullies and come to terms with their teenage crush.
Feature doc Solidarite follows the destinies of five men and women who are symbols of resilience while Paris Est Une Fete (working title), is described as a real-time French love story shot over 3-years on the streets of Paris, without any permits, amidst the crowds. Directed by Elisabeth Vogler cast includes Noémie Schmidt, Grégoire Isvarine and Lou Castel.
Erik Barmack, Vice President of International Originals at Netflix, said of the new projects, “We are delighted to announce today three new French series – a witty comedy about friends, family and weed; a psychological horror series; and a modern, coming of age vampire tale in Paris – for our French and Global audience to enjoy. Each project involves such talented French storytellers and producers that we are thrilled to be working on what promises to be very exciting times to come.”