Amazon and Netflix are preparing to restart production on their respective series in France, with “Voltaire, Mixte” and “Arsene Lupin” with Omar Sy set to resume shooting after both were halted when the country went into lockdown mid-March.
Produced by En Voiture Simone, “Voltaire, Mixte” is expected to restart filming in mid-July in the south of France, while “Arsene Lupin,” which Gaumont is producing, won’t shoot again before September due to talent availability, according to several sources. The series was filming at the Louvre museum — which can reopen from June 2 — when production stopped.
“Voltaire, Mixte” is set in an all-boys high school in the 1960s, which is turned upside down when it starts welcoming girls. “Arsene Lupin,” meanwhile, is a modern-day retelling of the story about the eponymous burglar and master of disguise.
Elsewhere, the first two domestic productions set to resume in June are a pair of big-budget movies from Pathé: the period drama “Eiffel” with Romain Duris and “Sex Education” star Emma Mackey, and Fred Cavayé’s Second World War drama “Adieu Monsieur Haffmann” with Daniel Auteuil and Gilles Lellouche. Both films will be shot in Paris.
Productions are slowly restarting now due to the French government’s recent launch of a temporary indemnity fund, created by the National Film Board (CNC) in collaboration with the regions and private partners, including banks, loan institutions and insurers.
Details of the fund remain sparse, but culture minister Franck Riester said on May 6 that the fund will exceed €50 million ($54 million) and will be extended to film and TV productions that have been interrupted or canceled during the pandemic.
France’s health minister, meanwhile, is expected to greenlight sanitary guidelines for filming in the COVID-19 era later this week.
These health recommendations were put together by the CCHCST (Central Committee for Hygiene, Security and Working Conditions in the Production of Films, Shorts and Commercials) in collaboration with several film and audiovisual guilds. The new rules could prove divisive for some because they will lead to more costly and lengthier productions, according to Eric Altmayer, co-founder of Mandarin Productions, who has Francois Ozon’s next movie in the pipeline.
Amazon and Netflix did not respond to request for comment by press time.