The past year has been a busy one for Stephane Celerier. Not only did his first co-production, Eric Lartigau’s “La Famille Belier,” lead France’s Mars Distribution to new box office heights, becoming the highest-grossing French film of 2015, with 7.5 million tickets sold (an approximate $50 million gross), but he was also tapped as VP of Studiocanal in September, when the Gallic giant bought a 30% share in the indie powerhouse.Mars, which Celerier helped launch in 1998 as a distribution...
Stephane Celerier founded and runs the indie film company Mars Distribution, which ranks as one of France’s leading distribution outfits. While it isn’t a vertically integrated company like Pathe, Gaumont, Studiocanal, TF1 and SND, Mars Distribution has managed to become a key purveyor of upscale American and British independent movies directed by a wide range of auteurs, including Woody Allen (“Cafe Society”), Steve McQueen (“Twelve Years a Slave”), Asif Kapadia (“Amy”) and Harmony Korine (“Spring Breakers”).
A passionate film vet, Celerier often pre-buys movies at script stage and helps finance them. Mars’s current slate includes Barry Jenkins’s Oscar-winning “Moonlight” and Jeff Nichols’s “Loving.” 2015 marked a turning point for Celerier as Vivendi acquired a 30% stake in Mars Distribution. Celerier was subsequently appointed vice president of Studiocanal while he remains fully involved in Mars.
Over the last couple years, Celerier also ventured into film production and scored big with two of the most successful local movies in recent years: the French crowdpleasers Eric Lartigau’s “La Famille Belier” and Hugo Gelin’s “Two is a Family,” which is now playing in Gaul’s theaters. Celerier is currently developing a dozen of films and is due to make his English-language producing debut with “Destiny,” a female-driven saga. Inspired by Working Title movies, Celerier said Mars has the ambition to make feel-good, heart-warming dramedies and English-language films with strong female protagonists.