Amazon Prime Video has announced its first French original film: it will be Le bal des folles. It is staged, co-written and acted by actress Mélanie Laurent. It will be released on the streaming platform in 2021.
This historical film, set at the end of the 19th century, is shot in Rochefort (Charente-Maritime). In the casting, Mélanie Laurent will be surrounded by Lou de Laage, Emmanuelle Bercot, Benjamin Voisin, Cédric Khan and Grégoire Bonnet. It is an adaptation of the novel of the same name, signed by Victoria Mas and published in 2019.
Amazon’s announcement shows that the French cinema industry is not yet fully shaken amid the rise of platforms. “We want to be a showcase for talent in France,” said Georgia Brown, creative director for Amazon Prime Video in Europe.
Amazon Prime Video was already offering French films. But the streaming platform hadn’t produced one yet. So she had bought Brutus vs Caesar from comedian Kheiron that summer. The latter preferred to deprive themselves of a theatrical release in view of the pandemic context.
The big competitor Netflix is not left out. The service has already announced the production of Bigbug, a “science fiction comedy” by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, for 2021.