Wagram, France’s leading independent music label, is launching Wagram Stories, an incorporated new studio dedicated to film production and publishing, whose first title is having its market premiere at the EFM in Berlin.
Wagram, a 20-year-old company whose talent portfolio includes Orelsan, M, The Dø, Dominique A, Katerine, Lilly Wood & the Prick, and Brigitte, will be investing more than €20 million in Wagram Stories. Headquartered in Paris, Wargram Stories intends to open offices in Los Angeles and Berlin.
At a time when music-oriented movies such as “A Star Is Born” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” are finding both critical and commercial success, the idea behind Wagram Stories is to deliver high-profile projects that follow their artists on their film and series projects, said Wagram’s Stephan Bourdoiseau.
The first title, “Inna de Yard,” is a reggae documentary feature, directed by Peter Webber. Produced by Laurent Baudens, Laurent Flahault and Gael Nouaille at Paris-based Borsalino Productions, it follows legendary voices of reggae including Ken Boothe, Winston McAnuff, Kiddus I and Cedric Myron as they reunite to revisit their signature songs and record an unplugged album titled “Inna de Yard” in Jamaica. Through their journey, the musicians share memories of their collaborations with Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Jimmy Cliff.
Webber, whose credits include the BAFTA-nominated “Girl With a Pearl Earring,” captured the recording adventure in Jamaica but also joined the musicians on their international tour.
Nouaille told Variety that Borsalino and Wagram Stories have joined forces on “Inna de Yard” to produce the documentary, an album and a concert tour around the world. The two companies are also working with French sales company Charades, which has pre-sold the film in key markets and aims to work “hand-in-hand with theatrical distributors and local music labels to build events around the release of the film,” said Charades co-founder Yohann Comte.
Territories sold include Australia and New Zealand (Vendetta), Korea (ATnine), Scandinavia (Non Stop), Switzerland (Frenetic), former Yugoslavia (MCF), China (DDDream), Germany (MFA) and Middle East (Selim Ramia). Le Pacte will release it in France. In Germany, the film will be released in the spring. Two concerts have already been planned, in Berlin and Cologne, ahead of the theatrical rollout, a model Wagram and Borsalino want to replicate in other territories, Bourdoiseau said.
Nouaille drew a parallel between “Inna de Yard” and Wim Wenders’ “Buena Vista Social Club” in terms of the way the film will be released along with an album and a concert tour. “Webber, like Wenders before him, has also chosen to shine a spotlight on an incredibly popular music by sharing with audiences some special moments in the life of these legendary musicians,” Nouaille said.