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When Séréna Zouaghi was named deputy mayor in charge of cinema for the French city Marseille in 2014, the local official knew she would have to pack her bags and hit the road. Though the coastal metropolis had always benefited from a healthy production infrastructure, and was second only to Paris as an industry hub, the newly named councilor intended to make her city a starry destination all on its own.
“Marseille is a very photogenic place, and it has inspired filmmakers since the earliest days of cinema,” says Zouaghi. “So we launched a concerted effort to stand out on an international stage, to encourage producers, directors and screenwriters to discover our city, to visit and to take inspiration from it.”
City - Marseille - Booth - Cannes - Film
Starting in 2014, the city of Marseille began occupying its own promotional booth at the Cannes Film Market, next to, but separate from, booths for the regional and national production commissions. Zouaghi and her team built upwards from Cannes, and within two years started sending delegations to markets and international industry gatherings in Berlin, London and Paris.
“When I took the post, I wanted to launch an international outreach campaign,” she explains. “So for the past six years, we’ve followed a policy to go out and promote our city.”
Part - Sales - Pitch - Zouaghi - Team
As part of that sales pitch, Zouaghi and team have branded their campaign “Marseille, Land of Cinema,” emphasizing the city’s expressive natural terrain as much as its existing production infrastructure.
“The proximity and diversity of our landscape is one of our most...
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