Netflix increases investment in France, opens new office in Paris

MUMBAI: Internet TV network Netflix has upped its investments in France by opening a new Paris office in the heart of the 9th arrondissement. The platform said that the new office reflects its long-term commitment to France’s creative community, including over 20 French productions in 2020.

Located in the heart of Paris, the French HQ is Netflix’s fourth office in Europe. Netflix France currently employs 40 people, across films and series, partnerships and marketing.

“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,” said Netflix Founding chairman, CEO Reed Hastings.

To reflect the diverse tastes of our members in France and our 158 million+ members around the world, Netflix has, since launching in France in 2014, developed 24 French titles, including 6 films, 9 series, 5 stand-up shows, 3 documentaries, and 1 unscripted series.

Netflix added that 2019 was a year of great success for original stories in France, with the 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 case that touched France.

The French content executives unveiled several original shows to be produced by Netflix over the coming years as well as a range of series and films made by production partners for Netflix. They include:

  • ‘BigBug’ a 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 Elsa Zylberstein, 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.

This comes on the back of a range of original shows already announced for 2020:

  • 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.

“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,” said Netflix’s director of series in France Damien Couvreur.

Netflix also announced a series of partnerships with major French creative institutions, to support new voices and to increase diversity within the creative community. Those partnerships include:

  • Strengthening Netflix’s existing partnership with La Fémis by supporting their ‘Residency’ programme, an 11-month full-time training course that helps 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 programme 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 GOBELINS L’École de l’Image, giving one graduate every year the opportunity to work alongside Netflix’s animation experts 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”.

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