French actress Marion Cotillard teams up with filmmaker and environmental activist Cyril Dion and producer Magali Payen in the creation of ccontent company Newtopia, inspired by Participant Media’s impact film approach in the US.
Its central objective will be to create content that offers new narratives around issues such as environmentalism, science, society, health, geopolitics, feminism and gender that imagine a better future for the world based on practices ecologically sustainable and socially equitable.
The trio launched the venture at an event in Cannes on Friday (May 20) and unveiled a list of projects in development.
They include the geopolitical thriller The Great Vertigo adapted from a novel by Pierre Ducrozet. It revolves around a high profile environmental activist who turns to desperate measures to stop climate change. The high-stakes campaign is betting everything, including his beloved daughter.
The company is also developing the original series in English Francoise, dramatizing the life of the pioneering French feminist and environmental activist Françoise d’Eaubonne who coined the term ecofeminism. Two English-speaking screenwriters are currently working on the screenplay.
It follows her personal revolution as she turned 50 in the early 1970s, embraced the environmental movement and then embarked on a plan to bomb the Fesseheim nuclear power station in northeastern France .
Newtopia is also working on a short film The Bakelite Giant by diver, dancer and filmmaker Julie Gautier. Described as an underwater musical inspired by the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, it will explore plastic pollution in the sea.
Gautier’s previous films include underwater work ama which led her to work on the video for “Runnin’ (Lose It All)” by British producer Naughty Boy and with the voice of Beyoncé.
In addition to these projects, the company is also planning workshops over the summer connecting writers and other creatives with scientists, environmentalists and activists to open their eyes to other kinds of stories. that can be told.
Newtopia is the brainchild of Dion, whose credits include the 2015 documentary tomorrow. Co-directed with actress and director Mélanie Laurent, it explored different initiatives around the world offering positive sustainable solutions to environmental problems.
Dion’s last movie Animal – in which two young people travel the world in search of ways for human beings to live alongside other species without destroying them or destroying their habitat – debuted in the unique sidebar of Cannes Cinema for Climate in 2021.
“I’ve been thinking about creating a business like this for four or five years,” he explains.
“When I saw the impact of tomorrowI started to think that it was necessary to multiply this kind of films, films which propose another vision of the future, which break with the dystopia madmax, blade runnerstyle visions, to set us free and free our imagination, allowing us to envision a different future.
Cotillard, who is a longtime friend of Dion, has also lent her voice to campaigns calling for sustainability and social justice in the past and last year took a producer credit on Flore Vasseur. Bigger than usabout young social and environmental activists around the world.
Producer Payen began her career in the film department of French pay-TV giant Canal+ before deciding to focus on promoting the creation of content that raises awareness of climate and environmental issues. In 2018, she created the We are ready initiative, which creates content aimed at raising awareness of environmental issues and mobilizing young people.
She also supervised the production of short films The legal action of the Affair of the Centuryfeaturing French stars such as Cotillard and Juliette Binoche expressing their support for the so-called Deal of the Century action, in which four environmental organizations in France took the government to court over its inaction on climate change.
Payen will lead the company in an executive role, assisted by producer Adrien Mazeau, who previously worked at production company Nord-Ouest Films and Studiocanal.
At his instigation, the company was registered as a “Société à Mission”, a special corporate status in France under which companies write their social and environmental objectives into their statutes, then appoint a committee to ensure that these objectives are achieved. The company also aims to achieve B-Corp certification, demonstrating that it adheres to high standards of social and environmental practices.
“We want to do things differently and with a new global economy in mind,” Payen said. “Our approach will be cooperative rather than competitive, so we can work with as many producers and creators as possible to develop impactful content.”
Cotillard is a board member alongside Dion and Payen. Other board members include French film industry veteran Camille Trumer, Ombline Le Lasseur and Vincent Ricordeau, founders of French crowdfunding platform Kiss Kiss Bank Bank, and partners Thomas Bénet and Patrick Fournier. de Dion on the production company Bright Bright Bright.
The first strategic partners are Kiss Kiss Bank Bank, Imagine 2050 and Parenthèse Cinéma, an agency specializing in new ways of releasing films and series and engaging audiences.