School, logistics, cinematheque… “Marseille en grand” makes its cinema

In her red suit jacket, with a smile from ear to ear, the Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul Malak, is making her first official trip to Marseille. After a Sunday spent at Mucem and the replica of the Grotte Cosquer, here it is this Monday, January 9 at the Belle de Mai media center. A symbolic place for Marseille’s creative industry where the series “Plus Belle la vie” has been filmed for 18 years. Appointed in July 2022 by the President of the Republic, the Minister laid the first concrete foundations for the cinema part of “Marseille en Grand”, a historic plan announced by Emmanuel Macron in September 2021.

The state is financially committed four projects worth 22.5 million over 3 years north of Marseille: the public school CineFabriquean antenna of Cinemathequea logistics platform and the arrangement of media center. These are all elements that should serve as the basis for creating a presidential will“the great studios of the Mediterranean.» Other funding will come later, earmarked for film production infrastructure, in the spring of 2023, when the winners of the call for projects are announced.“the great image factoryfrom the National Cinema Center (CNC).

Because of her office as Cultural Advisor at the Élysée in 2021, RimaAbdul Malak worked hard “sector development” and “put together a Mediterranean arc” around the cinema in the large-scale plan of Marseille. “It’s no secret that Marseille owes you this plan for culture», recognizes Benoît Payan, the mayor of Marseille. To determine the priorities, some politicians gave their opinion, such as Renaissance MP Sabrina Agresti-Roubache, herself a film producer, who “defended this project tooth and nail»said the minister.

La Cinéfabrique: a school for make technicians »

The CinéFabrique school in Marseille, financed with 15 million euros, is the first flagship project of the plan. It is no coincidence that the Minister first visited the temporary school site at 37 rue Guibal (3rd) created by the city. The work to bring this equipment up to standard, estimated at seven million euros, will be paid by the State for 1.5 million euros. La CinéFabrique, National School of Cinema, is a French public higher education institution intended to train young students between the ages of 18 and 25 in cinema and audiovisual professions.

Its director, Claude Mourieras, was with the minister to meet the class of 19 students. The director is at the initiative of the first CinéFabrique imagined in Lyon in 2015 for a more inclusive access to cinema professions. Around a large table arranged in a U,rhymeAbdul Malak lends himself easily to the exercise and puts the students at ease. Feel his experience. At the beginning of his career, the Franco-Lebanese notably directed the programs of Clowns sans frontières, an international association of support, through laughter and spectacle, to populations that are victims of humanitarian crises.

The Minister of Culture,rhymeAbdul Malak chats with Walid from Cinéfabrique (Credit: MG)

Most of the students are taught at CinéFabrique through organizations such as Apprentis d’Auteuil, the Second Chance School or fictional place, an association for the reintegration of young people imprisoned in Baumettes. On the banks of the school, Walid, a student with a poor background, hopes to become a light engineer in the cinema. And don’t fail to stand up to elected officials:“If you need me, I’m right here!», he laughed. This school will be like this“a factory to produce technicians for the creative industries»observes Sabrina Agresti-Roubache.

the minister,Claude Mourieras, Jean-Marc Coppola, Sabrina Agresti-Roubache and Sophie Joissains (Credit: JYD)

A great city of Mediterranean cinema» at the Dock des Suds

If the creation of the school is already included in the cultural program of the South Region, its president pushed to include it in the funding plan of Marseille on a large scale. Two birds with one stone,Renaud Muselier suggested that the Dock des Suds be the setting for a“great city of Mediterranean cinema» following several consultations with Euromediterranée, the public establishment that owns the building. The Elysée accepted his idea to install the CinéFabrique and the branch of the Cinémathèque française there at the end of 2026, beginning of 2027.“It’s a good idea to keep the name Dock des Suds»sent the minister to Gomet ‘, facing the implementation of the transformation of a site in 2011, as adviser to the representative of culture to the mayor of Paris, on the occasion of the reopening of the Gaité Lyrical,

The Dock des Suds, a historic concert hall in Marseille, could be turned into a digital school (Credit RM)
The Dock des Suds, historic concert hall in Marseille (Credit RM)

If we know the place of this future Cinematheque, its financing of five million euros and its president, the director Costa Gavras, its contours remain vague. Asked in September, the deputy for Culture of the City of Marseille, Jean-Marc Coppola mentioned several meetings held between the associations of Paris and Marseille. But since then, radio silence.“We are working on it»the elected communist smiled at the minister’s footsteps, implicitly acknowledging the municipality’s minor role in the file.

Studios and logistics platforms: infrastructures to accelerate competitiveness

Another part of Rima Abdul Malak’s announcements: confirmation of the installation of a large logistics base at 56 boulevard du Capitaine Gèze in the 14th arrondissement (read our article). The works will be financed with 1.5 million euros under the plan and will be completed by September 2023.“We must invest in logistics to remain globally competitive»underscored the minister.

The model of the future logistics platform (Credit: JYD)

To remain competitive, vis-à-vis the neighboring region of Occitanie (Shooting in Sète and Montpellier) and worldwide, it seems important to create new studios. To do this, reported MP Sabrina Agresti-Roubache the need to adapt to major clients such as Netflix, Amazon and France Télévisions.“You need places to create content because we’re not shooting like we used to… We can’t block roads, tunnels anymore. Urban environments become hostile to production”, explained the chosen one. In fact, there probably won’t be a major monopoly studio in the South, but a network of studios to build the industry. This fragmentation is also due to the lack of land in large areas.

Cinematic special effects
Room for special effects in Martigues on the premises of Provence Studios (Credit: MG/Gomet’)

On the sidelines of his meeting with the students of Koutrajmé, the Minister recalled the billion investment allocated by France 2030 to develop the creative industries, part of the budget of which – 350 million euros – will finance film studios through of CNC call for projects. According to our sources, Olivier Marchetti, the president of Provence Studios is a candidate to develop his studios for 35 million euros. “The winners will be announced in May 2023. I will be back»promiserhymeAbdul Malak.

Signing of 22.5 million financing (cine component) of Marseille en Grand plan (Credit: JYD)

Useful links:

> Creative industries: Southern Region launches new aid fund to attract studios
> [Grand débat] Cinema and creative industry in Marseille: the new ambition
> [Document source] The 22 pages of Emmanuel Macron’s “Marseille en grand” speech

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