France’s La Victorine, a Hollywood-style centenary studio located on the French Riviera is joining forces with the Provence Studios, a five-year old studio, to become France’s largest studio hub.
Created in 1919, La Victorine is located in Nice and has hosted shoots for iconic movies directed by Roger Vadim (“…And God Created Woman”), Jacques Deray (“La Piscine”), François Truffaut and Alfred Hitchcock, among others.
Currently being restored, the glamorous studio spreads across 7 acres, 10 sets of 64,314 square feet. Meanwhile, the Provence Studios (also called Studios de Martigues) spread across 22 acres, 129,167 square feet of interior sets, 322,917 square feet of backlot and a motion capture set.
The alliance of the two studios – which are both in the South of France and located near France’s second biggest airport (in Nice) — would rank the new hub ahead of Babelsberg in Germany, Barrandov in Prague or France’s Bry-sur-Marne and the Studios of Paris (where Luc Besson’s Cité du Cinema is established) in terms of size.
The South of France is already a popular destination for film and TV shoots due to the breadth and diversity of its landscapes, mild weather and lesser costs than Paris and its suburbs; so the idea behind the initiative is to welcome more big-budget French shoots, as well as Hollywood productions and international series by providing them with a one-stop-shop and the right infrastructure.
The project, which was envisioned and put together by former CNC president Eric Garandeau, received the blessing of the mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, on Friday, during a presentation attended by members of La Victorine committee, notably its president Costa-Gavras, Alain Kruger, Warner Bros France president Iris Knobloch and Arte president Veronique Cayla. Other members of La Victorine committee who attended include France’s top line producers Raphael Benoliel (“Mission Impossible: Fallout”) and John Bernard (“Dunkirk”).
As part of the restoration plans, Garandeau has also envisioned to transform the Rex Ingram Villa into a Museum dedicated to the history of La Victorine, with old sets and machinery. The museum would be connected to a restaurant, as well as a cluster of digital companies and a school named Les Compagnons de la Victorine.
The architect Manal Rachdi has been hired to work on the initiative, while Ernest & Young will be giving an estimated budget for the business plan.
The next phase of the initiative will take place early next year when the committee examines the business plan in details.