Orange Studio Boards Catherine Deneuve Movie ‘Bernadette,’ ‘Prodigies’ With ‘Emily in Paris’ Star, French Romcom ‘New Beginnings’(EXCLUSIVE)

Orange Studio, the film arm of the leading French telco group, has boarded “Bernadette,” starring Catherine Deneuve as the former French first lady, Bernadette Chirac.

The movie is one of the three high-profile projects set to be launched by Orange Studio at the AFM. The other two titles are “Prodigies,” starring “Emily in Paris” actor Camille Razat and produced by the team behind “La Famille Belier” (which was remade into the Oscar-winning film “CODA”), and the romantic comedy “New Beginnings,” starring Franck Dubosc and Karin Viard. 

Directed by emerging director Léa Domenach, “Bernadette” tells the story of the spouse of Jacques Chirac, who became President of France in 1995. While her husband enjoyed a wide popularity, Bernardette was mocked by French people for looking like an old lady and being too corny. Bernadette Chirac decided to take them on and hired topnotch creatives to revamp her image. 

Charlotte Boucon, who heads international sales at Orange Studio, said the movie tells a story of empowerment with bits of comedy, describing it as a mix Francois Ozon’s “Potiche” and “Legally Blonde.”

“Deneuve is perfectly cast in this film, which is a colorful portrayal of a spunky lady who took everyone by surprise, tapped Karl Lagerfeld to relook her and pursued her political ambitions,” said Boucon, adding that Bernadette ended up “almost outshining her husband, and became a feminist icon.”

Deneuve stars in the film opposite Denis Podalydès and Sara Giraudeau. Now in post-production, the movie is produced by Karé Productions (“The Young Lovers,” “The Name of Love”) and will be distributed in France by Warner Bros. Pictures. 

“Prodigies” is inspired by a true story and stars Camille Razat (“Emily in Paris”) and Mélanie Robert as twin sisters who share the same passion for piano. After joining the prestigious Karlsruhe Conservatory and starting to train to become soloists, they discover they are suffering from a serious illness which causes them to lose the use of their hands. But the sisters will not give up on their dream and will find a way to play piano together. Directed by Frédéric and Valentin Potier, the movie also stars Franck Dubosc (“Rolling to You”) and Isabelle Carré (“Romantics Anonymous”).

“Prodigies” is backed by powerful French producers: Vendôme Production (“La Famille bélier,” “Coda”), Jerico (“La Famille Bélier”) and  One World Films (“Gainsbourg,” “I lost my body”). The melodrama will be released in France by Orange Studio with Apollo Films. Boucon said the movie was a coming-of-age tale filled with strong emotions and an original score composed by Dan Levy, who previously worked on the Oscar-nominated animated feature “I Lost My Body.” Now in pre-production, “Prodigies” is set to start shooting in March.

“New Beginnings,” meanwhile, is directed by Philippe Lefebvre and revolves around Alain (Dubosc), a star pianist, who shares his life with Diane (Viard), a journalist working for a women’s magazine. The couple’s youngest child is about to move out and they’re planning to spend quality time together. But Diane is struggling, as her younger co-workers make her feel insecure. Diane and Alain’s life takes an unexpected turn after Diane is rumored to have a lover, leading her co-workers to suddenly see her as cool while her marriage goes through some turmoils. Now shooting, the film is produced by Récifilms, whose recent credits include Cedric Jimenez’s hit thriller “November.” “New Beginnings” will be released in France by Orange Studio with UGC Distribution.

“‘New Beginnings’ is a remarriage romantic comedy that is both smart and highly relatable with two topnotch actors,” said Boucon.

Orange Studio’s AFM slate also includes Alexandre Castagnetti’s “School Society,” which just launched in French theaters, as well as “The Nannies,” “Le Parfum Vert,” “Maestro” and “L’astronaute.”

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