The Film TV, the Paris-based outfit headed by well-established producers Michael Gentile and Lauraine Heftler, has gained a substantial track record in three years.
The banner is presenting its first two shows at Series Mania Festival, Julie Delpy’s TV debut “On The Verge” which is backed by Canal Plus and Netflix; and “Jeune et Golri,” a series set against the backdrop of the stand-up comedy world.
Commissioned by French pay TV service OCS, “Jeune et Golri” is a half-hour contemporary romantic comedy series based on an original idea by Agnès Hurstel, an actor and screenwriter, who created the show with Victor Saint-Macary (“Le Brio”) and Léa Domenach.
Hurstel stars in the show as Prune, a 25 year-old stand-up comedian who falls in love with a middle-aged man, Francis, not knowing he has a six-year-old girl. While Prune herself still feels like a teenager, she becomes an unlikely step mom to this little girl. Hurstel stars in the show opposite Jonathan Lambert. “Call My Agent” actor-turned-director Fanny Sidney directs the show which is co-produced by 6bony and will compete at Series Mania.
“‘Jeune et Golri’ is a very funny, heartwarming and pop series that will appeal to women but not only; it’s set in the world of stand-up comedy, and a lot of young adults will relate to the characters,” said Heftler.
Another contemporary show, the L.A.-set “On The Verge” was created, co-written, co-directed by Delpy and shot on location between the first and second waves of the pandemic. “On The Verge” stars Elisabeth Shue, Sarah Jones, Giovanni Ribisi and Delpy as a group of middle-aged friends grappling with complicated relationships and parenthood in Los Angeles. The first three episodes will unspool at Series Mania and will roll out on Netflix on Sept. 7.
“On The Verge” recently had a French screening at the Paris Cinematheque where Delpy was being honored. “The worlds of film and series have come together and this was obvious when the French cinematheque played ‘On The Verge’ as part of its tribute to Julie — 10 years ago it would have been unthinkable,” said Gentile, who produces Delpy’s films in France, notably “Lolo.”
The Film TV is also delivering this year “Visions,” a supernatural cop series directed by Akim Isker with a topnotch cast including Louane (“La Famille Belier”), Soufiane Guerrab (“Lupin”), Max Boublil (“Play”), Jean-Luc Anglade (“Braquo”), Anne Marivin, Marie-Ange Casta and Julien Boisselier.
The series, penned by Jeanne Le Guillou and Bruno Dega, was commissioned by TF1 and follows a little boy, Diego, who starts to have strange visions following the mysterious disappearance of a 12-year-old girl and develops a unique bond with a young psychologist helping him. Edouard de Vesinne and Pauline Eon at Hanoï Productions are co-producing the series. “Visions” wrapped shooting in June.
Along with these shows, Gentile and Heftler are developing a pair of female-driven series, notably Laïla Marrakchi’s “Casa Girls,” a show about four twenty-something single women living in Casablanca. The series is co-produced and represented in international markets by Federation Entertainment and has been ordered by OCS. “Casa Girls,” co-written by Marrakchi, Dorothée Lachaud (“Je te promets”) and Nour Ben Salem (“Fais pas ci, fais pas ca”) follows a young woman who’s been living in Paris for 10 years and returns to her homeland in Casablanca to get over a bad breakup.