EUFCN Spotlight on: Atlantic Pyrenees Film Commission

The Atlantic Pyrenees Film Commission promotes and facilitates film and tv shoots in its region, located in the South West of France.

Between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees, influenced by the sea and the mountains, the Béarn and Basque Country presents a great variety of locations at a close distance.

In today’s spotlight, Film Commissioner Christine Saint-Cricq talks about the recent activities of the Atlantic Pyrenees Film Commission and the opportunities this territory can offer to national and international filmmakers.

Which main productions were shot recently in the Atlantic Pyrenees?

“Historical drama Waiting for Anya by Ben Cookson was filmed in the Béarn. It tells the story of a young shepherd who helps Jewish children escape into Spain during the Second World War.

A selection of films recently shot in our territory includes Je ne rêve que de vous (An Irrepressible Woman) by Laurent Heynemann, L’état sauvage, western by David Perrault, Le meilleur reste à venir by Matthieu Delaporte e Alexandre de La Patellière, the Chinese series Crocodile and Plover Bird, and French TV series Mongeville, Romance, and Infidèle.

What’s the biggest production you have ever supported in your territory?  

Chéri directed by Stephen Frears. The 2009 romantic comedy-drama set in the Belle Époque era was filmed at the Hôtel du Palais in Biarritz. The luxurious hotel, located on the main beach of the town, was the perfect setting for the tormented love affair between the wealthy Léa de Lonval (Michelle Pfeiffer) and a very young man, Fred ‘Chéri’ Peloux (Rupert Friend).”

What do you think is something unique the Atlantic Pyrenees Film Commission can offer?  

“Our territory offers an amazing variety of locations: the sea, the mountains, the countryside, villages and towns, history and modernity. All locations are close to each other and well served. The light in the Béarn and Pays Basque is beautiful for filming, especially in autumn.”

Do you have any particular anecdote related to your experience as film commissioner?

“One of the greatest moments was seeing a film shot in the Béarn – Lemming by Domink Moll – being chosen to open the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.

We accompanied and supported Eastern Boys in the towns Pau et Idron. It was the second feature film directed by Robin Campillo. The producers and the director were delighted with their stay and the hospitality received. Campillo’s third film 120 battements par minute won the Grand Prix in Cannes in 2017 (same production of Eastern Boys).”

What activities has the Atlantic Pyrenees Film Commission been carrying on during these challenging months?

“We invited directors that have shot films in the Béarn for interviews on “Bonsoir le Béarn”, a program on the local television, and we shared on Facebook posters and information about the main films shot in our territory. During these challenging months we have also worked on a new website, which is going to be online in September.”

Are you interested in filming in the Atlantic Pyrenees?

The European Film Commissions Network is a non-profit association that supports and promotes the European film industry and culture. It currently represents 98 European film commissions and film institutions from 31 different countries.