An interview with the French Riviera Film Commission

An interview with the French Riviera Film Commission

In my previous post I mentioned some of the work of the The French Riviera Film Commission, a key organisation required by film companies when they’re planning to shoot in the Côte d’Azur.

I wanted to find out more about the organisation and spoke to the Commission’s Evelyne Colle about their work in bringing new productions to the area.

Jonathan Melville: Can you explain the role of the film commission?

Evelyne Colle: The French Riviera Film Commission offers free help and advice to organisations who are considering filming in the area. We’re able to help with the following tasks:

  • Promotion of the Alpes-Maritimes and its scenery, its human and technical resources
  • Help with locations
  • Finding funding (subsidies, co-production)
  • Liaising with accommodation professionals and facilitate the granting of authorizations for film shoots
  • Logistics (production office)
  • Providing a data base of skilled professionals, local technicians
  • Database of competent support companies
  • Organisation Forums and events related to the film industry

How many enquiries do you get in an average week?

Enquiries vary according to the time of year, apart from some recurring annual filming dates. 

To get an accurate idea of ​​the number of filming, we perform an annual activity report. This allows us to identify the amount of projects in the following categories: feature films, short films, advertising, TV series, documentaries and photo shoots.

In 2012, a total of 400 projects were submitted to the Film Commission Alpes-Maritimes Riviera and 305 went into production. This represents: 14, 365 shooting days, 258, 701 hotel nights and 790, 963, 246, 40€.

One of the many productions filmed in the Côte d'Azur

One of the many productions filmed in the Côte d’Azur

What are some of the strangest enquiries/questions you’ve had?

Each project has its own specific requirements.

Working with animals can be a difficult request, because it is first necessary to bring them on the locations, which can cause a long journey and difficult negotiations with customs if the animals come from foreign countries.

What are some of the most complex arrangements you’ve had to make?

All projects must meet the specific requirements of the film or TV programme’s director. The most complex projects to achieve are those set in the past, when all signs of the present day must be removed. Removal of all modern elements (electrical panels, signs, etc) or having to cover tarmac with sand to remove evidence of them, can take time.

An outdoor shoot on the French Riviera

An outdoor shoot on the French Riviera

What makes the Côte d’Azur so attractive to filmmakers?

Its climate and light, with 320 days of sunshine per year, are undoubtedly popular with filmmakers.

Its exceptional location between land and sea, offers an incredible wealth of varied and diverse scenery, landscapes in a single department. The beautiful coastline, mountains of the hinterland (only one hour drive outside Nice) through the middle country “Provencal style” are also popular.

The architectural style is quite unusual. Villas have colourful character but also an architectural style with Italian influences (the city of Menton is in the border of Italy). The reputation of the French Riviera has been well established over the years and it has hosted the biggest names in film and audiovisual fields!.

Although these landscapes have been recognised for decades, the impact of the actions of the French Riviera Film Commission can be proved by some figures. In our first, 1999, we assisted 69 projects, while in 2012 we supported 305 projects, an increase of 342.03%.

Thanks to Evelyne Colle at the French Riviera Film Commission – email her at contact@filmcotedazur.com for more information.

Read more about recent films and TV series filmed on the Côte d’Azur.

Photos copyright Commission du Film Côte d’Azur.

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