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Lagardere Studios’ Imagissime Unveils New Slate of Documentaries (EXCLUSIVE)

Lagardere Studios’ production label Imagissime is developing several internationally-driven documentaries, including “Living Under the Third Reich” and “The Rise of Modern Cooking.”

“The Rise of Modern Cooking,” which has been commissioned by Franco-German network Arte, and is being co-produced with Belgian and Canadian partners, pays homage to Auguste Escoffier — the restaurateur and culinary writer who modernized traditional French cooking methods. The documentary, directed by Olivier Julien, mixies archival, animated, and live-action footage.

The doc will start shooting soon. Elodie Polo Ackermann, the founder and president of Imagissime, said she aimed at creating an edgy, fun documentary that could lure young audiences. Polo Ackermann, who previously worked at Doc en Stock and Film en Stock on programs such Olivier Assayas’ “Carlos,” said she strived to deliver documentaries boasting sharply-written scripts.

“The line between fiction and documentary is blurrier than ever today so we’re looking to enlist authors who work in fiction and can work on the storytelling aspect of documentaries in order to give them a cinematic dimension,” said Polo Ackermann, who explained that Imagissime is already using this approach with a documentary that has been ordered by Netflix about the unsolved murder of Grégory Villemin, a 4-year-old boy. Gilles Marchand (“Into the Forest”) will be directing this Netflix doc.

Imagissime is also developing with the German outfit Dok Films “Living Under the Third Reich,” a two-part documentary entirely based on archives of color footage shot by ordinary Germany families from 1936, right before the start of WWII, to 1944, a year before the downfall of the Nazi regime and the end of the war. Through the silent footage, audiences will get a glimpse at the rise of Nazism and its impact on everyday life in Germany.

Also on Imagissime’ slate is “Mystères d’épaves,” a submarine exploration of secret shipwrecks, and “The Last Merchants of Venice,” a documentary about the rise and fall of the Stucky family who were Swiss millers and made a fortune in Venice at the turn of the 20th century. “The Last Merchants of Venice” will premiere at Bologna Film Festival this weekend.

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