“Call My Agent!” producer Mother Production and Charles Gillibert’s CG Cinéma (“Annette”) are joining forces to create TV production label Les Saisons. The outfit will kick off with the series adaptation of Leïla Slimani’s critically acclaimed novel “Le Pays des autres.”
Slimani’s novel, which was published in more than 30 countries and sold 670,000 units in France, is part of a trilogy charting the tumultuous love story between a young French woman and a Moroccan soldier. The saga is set against the backdrop of war for independence in the 1950s, when Morocco was a French colony. Slimani, one of France’s best-known contemporary novelist and intellectuals, is co-writing the series, which will be followed by two more seasons adapting the second and third books.
The new outfit is poised to become a key player in the French TV landscape as both companies have long-standing relationships with high-profile talents. CG Cinema, which is headed by Gillibert and his partner Romain Blondeau, has been working with auteurs worldwide, including Leos Carax, whose musical romance “Annette” opened 2021 Cannes, won best director and earned 11 Cesar nominations. Other popular directors who have worked with CG Cinema include Olivier Assayas (“Clouds of Sils Maria”), Deniz Gamze Ergüven (“Mustang”), Mia Hansen-Løve (“Bergman Island”) and Pietro Marcello (“L’envol”).
Mother Production, headed by Aurélien Larger, Harold Valentin and Simon Trouilloud, recently won the International Emmy Award (with Mon Voisin Productions) for best comedy for “Call My Agent!” The show, which is set a Parisian talent agency, has become a global hit on Netflix and is being remade across the world, including in the U.K. and Italy.
The label is being launched at a pivotal time for the French audiovisual industry. In the years to come, streaming services will be ramping up their investment in local content thanks to a recent decree from the implementation of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMS). It’s expected to give creators additional resources and opportunities to explore new grounds. Les Saisons will be producing several shows per year, some of which will be made with international partners.
“In a very stimulating context for series, this new banner wants to bet on the intelligence and curiosity of audiences who have never shown such a large appetite for fiction drama,” said Gillibert. He added the idea was to address all generations and all tastes while always placing an emphasis on singularity and craft. “In brief, we want to make series as a long-lasting art form,” he said.
Over at Mother Production, the company’s partners said they would like this “label to bring together major talents working in film and literature into a place where they’ll be able to cross paths and work with the best series creators in France.” The producers said the company will give these talents “the time, means and partners to develop their projects with the necessary independence.”
At the Berlinale, CG Cinema is presenting the world premiere of Alain Guiraudie’s “Viens, je t’emène” on the opening night of the Panorama section. Gillibert also recently partnered with the financier Alexis Dantec to acquire Les Films du Losange, one of France’s oldest and most revered auteur-driven production and distribution companies.