Two of France’s major film companies, Curiosa and Playtime, are teaming up to launch Curious Times, a production label dedicated to premium scripted drama. Under this label, the two Paris-based companies will produce French and European TV projects.
The first project to be developed under the Curious Times banner is “War Photographer,” a mini-series based on the life of the legendary photographer Robert Capa, who lived through three wars and was a witness to all key events of the 20th century.
“War Photographer” was created by French director Gilles Bourdos (“Renoir”) and Israeli screenwriter Yaron Seelig (“Matter Of Time”).
Curious Times is currently developing a slate of high-profile projects with well-established filmmakers, in line with the auteur-driven approach of both Curiosa Films and Playtime.
The two companies previously collaborated on several films, including Claire Denis’s critically-acclaimed “Let the Sunshine In” with Juliette Binoche which opened Cannes’s Directors’ Fortnight last year.
Curiosa Films, created in 2015 by veteran producer Olivier Delbosc, who previously co-headed Fidelité Productions, and Emilien Bignon, has so far achieved a strong track record with 15 films, notably “Let the Sunshine In,” Martin Provost’s Berlin player “The Midwife” with Catherine Deneuve and Etienne Comar’s “Django” which opened Berlin Film Festival in 2017.
“The border between cinema and television today is fading. With Curious Times, our ambition is to continue bridging the remaining gap and create new scripted series with all the film talents and cinematographers we work with today : writers, directors, actors, and I can’t imagine a better partner than Playtime to do so,” said Delbosc, who has long-standing relationships with France’s top directors, notably Ozon (whose “Swimming Pool” and “8 Women” were produced by Delbosc), Gaspard Noé (“Enter The Void”), Xavier Giannoli (“Marguerite”), Emmanuelle Bercot (“On My Way”), as well as Emir Kusturica and André Téchiné.
Playtime (formerly Films Distribution), meanwhile, is a thriving international sales group which recently expanded its involvement in co-development and co-financing of films, as well as TV projects with the launch of a TV division headed by former Twentieth Century Fox exec, Virginie Boireaux, who is attending Series Mania in Lille. Playtime is also a shareholder of French TV production Empreinte Digitale (“Mission”, “Lazy Company”) and is funding its development slate.
Besides “Let The Sunshine In,” Playtime’s recent film hits include François Ozon’s “Double Lover”, Robin Campillo’s Cannes’s Grand Jury prize-winning “BPM,” and Raoul Peck’s “Young Karl Marx.” The company has so far handled seven Oscar-nominated films and one foreign-language Oscar-winning film, Laszlo Nemes’s “Son of Saul.” The outfit is co-producing Nemes’s sophomore film, “Sunset.”
“Our capacity to package dramas and movies for local and global audiences will benefit from Curiosa’s extensive experience in working with high end directors,” said François Yon, co-founder of Playtime. “Curious Times as a label will have access to a great pool of talents which will guarantee the quality of the output,” added Yon, who runs Playtime with Sebastien Beffa, Nicolas Brigaud-Robert and Valéry Guibal.