An international 8 X 52’ period drama series
with multi award-winning French actress Bérénice Bejo
Paris / London, October 12th, 2018
For immediate release
French network France Televisions has joined London-based Ecosse Films and Paris-based Federation Entertainment to coproduce JOSEPHINE AND NAPOLEON, a 8 X 52’ international period drama series currently in development.
World star Bérénice Bejo, Oscar nominee for Best Actress performance for The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius), winner of Best Actress award at Cannes Film Festival for The Past (Asghar Farhadi) will play Joséphine.
The series is created by leading showrunner Tony Saint (Das Boot, Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley, Strike Back). During the French Revolution Josephine, 35 years old, a mischievous aristocrat born in the French West Indies, meets a quick-tempered and ambitious 25 years old general from Corsica, Napoleon Bonaparte, and together they become the most powerful couple in the world.
Images of Napoleon Bonaparte have been scorched into the historical record. But alongside his name, there sits another: that of Josephine, his first wife, lover and muse. And for the first time on television this series will put Josephine at the heart of their meteoric rise, breaking through the carapace of legend to get to the true, fascinating and surprising story that lies behind it.
JOSEPHINE AND NAPOLEON is a dramatic, pulsating and intriguing examination of how two colonial outsiders from the French islands achieved the most audacious and extraordinary ascent to power in human history.
With a rich cast of Machiavellian fixers, déclassé aristocrats and scheming lovers thrown into the mix, this will be a marquee historical series that is both provocative and highly entertaining.
The series is based on the acclaimed historical biographies written by Andrew Roberts (Napoleon: A Life) and Kate Williams (The Dangerous Life of Josephine Bonaparte).
Tony Saint will be working with a distinguished French writer to be announced soon.
Tony Saint, EP and showrunner: ‘’Bringing these remarkable characters to life has already been a joy but I am absolutely delighted that Berenice Bejo is joining the project. She will be an unforgettable Josephine.’’
Douglas Rae, Managing Director Ecosse Films: “We are honoured to be working with two of Europe’s most distinguished programme makers, France 2 and Federation Entertainment, on such a bold and ambitious coproduction. Josephine’s role in Napoleon’s destiny will surprise and thrill audiences across the world.”
Pascal Breton, CEO Federation Entertainment: “We’re thrilled to be working with France Televisions and Ecosse Films to serialize two of France’s greatest historical figures: Josephine and Napoleon. Having the wonderful actress Berenice Bejo join us to embody Joséphine makes the project even more exciting’’.
Takis Candilis, Managing Director Content France Télévisions: ‘’Rare are projects such as this one that reveal historical figures with such accuracy and wit. We are thrilled to see French history serialized and portrayed with a modern approach. Josephine was a free, strong and influential woman, remarkable in her day, incredibly relevant for our time. We are extremely proud that Bérénice Bejo will star in this series’’.
JOSEPHINE AND NAPOLEON is produced by Douglas Rae, Kate Triggs and Robert Bernstein (Ecosse Films) and Pascal Breton and Lionel Uzan (Federation Entertainment).
Shooting is scheduled for end of Summer 2019 in France. The series will be shot in English, by a duo of English and French directors.
Contact presse France Télévisions : Valérie Manzic – Chiquiar
+33 (0)1 56 22 75 06 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact presse Federation Entertainment : Valérie Tailland
+33 (0)6 82 57 06 09 / email@example.com
About Ecosse Films:
Ecosse Films is a multi award-winning production company, specialising in high-quality drama for film and television, producing 15 films (Mrs Brown, Charlotte Grey, Nowhere Boy, Brideshead Revisited, Wuthering Heights) and over 1,000 hours of network television for BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Showtime, Sky Atlantic, Starz Channel, Netflix and WGBH. Ecosse has produced numerous acclaimed TV series including BBC1’s long-running drama Monarch of the Glen and the BBC1 hit series Mistresses, which was revamped and co-produced by Ecosse as a series for ABC America.
For Sky Atlantic, Ecosse produced the thrilling drama series Fleming, featuring Dominic Cooper as Bond creator Ian Fleming. Ecosse are currently producing a BBC1 six part drama from award-winning novelist and screenwriter Amanda Coe. This compelling drama takes a fresh look at one of the most infamous British stories: the chain of events in the 1960s which came to be known as the Keeler/Profumo affair, which brought down the British government.
About Federation Entertainment
Based both in Paris and Los Angeles, Federation Entertainment has quickly established itself as top indie European studio. Its model of development, production, distribution and marketing is at the service of premium original contents specifically designed for global marketplace. Created and launched in 2013 by president Pascal Breton, Federation is co-headed by Lionel Uzan, CEO, and David Michel, heading up the Kids & Family division of the group, and by the founders Stephane Sperry and Serge Hayat. Thierry Sorel joined the team in 2016 as head of Drama followed by Benoit Lacombe in 2017 as COO.
Federation is now expanding to non scripted content, teaming up with WeMake. Founded in June 2017 by Bouchra Réjani (former C.O.O of Shine France), WeMake focuses on the creation and the production of original, unscripted content for all platforms, in all genres.
Federation Entertainment has established exclusive partnerships with key producers and showrunners leading to prestigious productions, such as : The Bureau (40 X 52’, a coproduction TOP – The Oligarchs Productions / Federation for CANAL+ Création Originale), Marseille (16 X 52’, a Netflix Original series produced by Federation) ; The break (20 X 52’, produced by Helicotronic and RTBF) ; Bordertown (31 X 52’, a Scandinavian thriller produced by Fisher King and Federation) ; Hostages (22 X 45’, an Israelian thriller coproduced by Yezirah Ivrit and Federation) ; Bad Banks (6 X 52’, a German financial thriller coproduced by Letterbox Filmproduktion and Iris Productions for ZDF and Arte France) ; One Night (10 X 26’, an innovative dramedy produced by Viafilm – Norway – for NRK) ; Undercover (10 X 50’, a thriller produced by De Mensen for VRT) ; Spitfire, a 20×52’ crime series produced by IB3 on the island of Mallorca ; Secret Enemies, (8×52′), a Finnish political thriller produced by Moskito TV ; and The Twelve (10×52′), a fascinating psychological thriller produced by Eyeworks, launched at Mipcom 2018.
As well as Find Me In Paris (52 X 26′) the new premium live action hit for tweens coproduced by ZDF and Paris Opera dance school, and the animated series Ollie & Moon (104 X 11′) and Squish (52 X 13′), on the kids side.
About France Televisions:
State-owned France.tv is the leading broadcasting company in France. It is also the main investor in scripted. Appointed in February 2018, Takis Candilis is the Managing Director Content.
France.tv recently teamed up with RAI and ZDF in the newly-formed European Alliance, in order to boost international cooperation in the field of TV series.
Nathalie Biancolli (Head of international drama and acquisitions) and Médéric Albouy (Head of international series coproductions) oversee this growing activity.