Marseille, the capital of the seventh art

With three films selected at Cannes, Stillwater, by Tom McCarthy (out of competition), North Bac, by Cédric Jimenez (out of competition), and Good mother, Hafsia Herzi (Un certain regard), the Phocaean city sets itself up as the capital of the seventh art. Or almost: with a total of 1,162 days of shooting per year – that is, three shoots per day, all formats combined – Marseille is on the heels of Paris and loving directors, including Americans. The flow seems endless, and not just on the big screen: in 2020, Bronx, by Olivier Marchal, was released on Netflix. This year is the filming of the series adapted fromA prophet, by Jacques Audiard, awarded at Cannes in 2009, which is announced …

According to Sabrina Roubache, executive producer of the series Marseilles, which piloted a report on the competitiveness of the sector for the city’s chamber of commerce and industry, Marseille has valuable assets: “The sun, the economic diplomacy deployed in favor of the cinema industry and the reception facilities. “

Competent technicians

Above all, it has enjoyed a very favorable ecosystem since the launch, in 2004, of the daily series More beautiful life, entirely shot at the media center of the Belle-de-Mai district. Thanks to this recurring format, competent technicians have long been found in and around Marseille. This is particularly what attracted Jonathan King, one of the producers of Stillwater : “The teams are very strong, but to be more competitive the city should offer more high capacity studios. “

For now, you have to go to Martigues, where Provence Studios, one of the largest in Europe (2,600 square meters), is hosting the filming of a huge Netflix series, The Serpent Queen, a biopic on Catherine de Medici. The “cinema mission”, created by the mayor Jean-Claude Gaudin in 2009, has further accelerated the movement. It facilitates filming: “Authorizations are much easier to obtain than in Paris”, notes Cédric Jimenez, the director of French and of BAC North.

Historic funding

Mobilized, Jean-Marc Coppola, the new assistant to the culture of the socialist mayor Benoît Payan, also goes regularly on the platforms to promote his city. He recently had lunch with Francis Huster while he was playing Murder on the Frioul Islands (France 3), which Marseille director Sylvie Ayme was able to shoot at the Château d’If.

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