Netflix CEO Reed Hastings today officially opened Netflix’s vast new French headquarters in the center of Paris.
Currently home to 40 employees in film, TV and marketing, and with ample space for at least 100 more, the shiny new space is a major sign of intent for the streamer in one of Europe’s most important – and heavily regulated – markets.
Netflix announced today that it will significantly increase investment in France, with 20 new French productions, and partnerships with leading French creative institutions.
The streamer’s French content executives today unveiled a handful of original shows as well as a range of series and films made by production partners for the streamer. They include:
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BigBug, the new film by César Award winner Jean-Pierre Jeunet, based on a script written by Jeunet and Guillaume Laurant — a comedy set in the future with a cast including César Award winner Elsa Zylberstein, César Award nominee Isabelle Nanty and Manu Payet.
Screenwriter Fanny Herrero is developing a 6-part series following the lives of four young comedians trying to make it in the Paris stand-up scene.
The renewal (Season 2) of the original YA Sci-fi series Mortel, created by Frederic Garcia.
Sentinelle, an action film starring Olga Kurylenko, directed by Julien Leclercq (Braqueurs and La Terre et le Sang).
This follows original content already announced for 2020 including:
● Arsène Lupin, starring Omar Sy, and created by George Kay in collaboration with François Uzan. The first three episodes will be directed by Louis Leterrier.
● La Révolution, a historical thriller series created by Aurélien Molas.
● The Eddy, Damien Chazelle’s series created by Jack Thorne, that reunites Leïla Bekhti and Tahar Rahim.
● Vampires, starring Oulaya Amamra and Suzanne Clément, and created by Benjamin Dupas and Isaure Pisani-Ferry.
● Two documentaries, one about Nicolas Anelka, developed by Franck Nataf, and the other featuring Maître Gims, directed by Florent Bodin.
Netflix today also announced a series of partnerships with major French creative institutions. Those partnerships include:
● Growing Netflix’s existing partnership with La Fémis from January 2020 in order to support their ‘Residency’ programme, an 11-month full time training course to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds get into film and TV.
● 1000 visages, an association founded in 2006 by Houda Benyamina, which provides a number of training programmes in the visual arts and promotes access to jobs within the creative industries. Netflix will become the main partner in the program dedicated to series’ screenwriting, to be launched in January 2020. Houda Benyamina is also the director of two episodes of The Eddy.
● Since 2019, Netflix has partnered with L’École de l’Image, Gobelins, giving one graduate per year a chance to work alongside Netflix’s animation team in Japan. In addition, Netflix will now contribute to Gobelins’ training program by funding four-year scholarships for five students as part of their Master of Arts in “Character Animation and Animated Filmmaking”
Hastings said, “It is a real honour to be in France, with its rich culture and history of storytelling. This office is a sign of our long-term commitment to the country, and will enable us to work even more closely with the French creative community on great shows and films that are made in France and watched all around the world.”
Added Damien Couvreur, Netflix’s Director of Series in France, “We are incredibly proud of the productions we’re currently filming, the ones we are developing and the ones we’ve unveiled today. The establishment of a new French creative hub brings new opportunities for us to work with the best and most exciting creative talent in France and to bring diverse genres and content to everyone who loves French storytelling.”
Since launching in France in 2014, Netflix has developed 24 French titles, including six films, nine series, five stand-up shows, three documentaries and one unscripted series.
Last year, shows included horror and YA sci-fi series Marianne and Mortel, comedies Plan Coeur and Family Business, the film Banlieusards, and Grégory, the documentary series about a major criminal case in France.
German and Italian expansion is expected next for the streamer which already has large European hubs in London, Madrid and Amsterdam.
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