Valerie Garcia, a well-respected film executive who co-founded Mars Films in France, has launched a new Paris-based production boutique, Gabman. The banner’s strong first slate includes projects with Paramount+, Federation Entertainment and SND Fictions.
While at Mars Films, Garcia was involved in the production and distribution of some of France’s biggest hits, including Maiwenn’s “Polisse” and “Two is a Family” with Omar Sy. The company, which was taken over by Vivendi in 2021, also handled the French distribution of major indie films such as the Oscar-winning “Twelve Years a Slave” and “Moonlight.”
At Gabman, Garcia will be developing and producing projects ranging from films to documentaries, live events and series, working closely with filmmakers and artists.
Garcia is working alongside Tristan Du Laz, another top film executive who previously ran TF1 Studio before launching Original Factory, an innovative co-production and distribution company dedicated to delivering movies to platforms. On top of sharing their lavish offices located in a historic multi-story building in the heart of Paris, Gabman has taken a stake in Original Factory and the two executives are collaborating on several projects.
Gabman’s inaugural slate includes “On The Edge,” an English-language geo-political thriller series inspired by true stories weaving corruption and fake news. The series is being penned by Marc Macaluso, alongside Peter Sahlas, an international lawyer, and Boris Durande, an expert in political communications.
Gabman is also partnering with SND Fictions, the TV production division of France’s second biggest commercial network, on the development of “Resilienza,” a series inspired by the life of Laurent Jacqua.
A French writer and activist, Jacqua spent more than 20 years in prison. He was first sentenced at the age of 18 for the murder of a skinhead. Xavier Gens (“Crossing Lines”) will showrun and direct the series with Jacqua himself and Stephane Cabel. Garcia compared “Resilienza” to Peter Weir’s “Dead Poets Society” and Jacques Audiard’s prison thriller, “A Prophet.”
Gabman has also teamed with Myriam Veil at Federation Studios on the production of an original feature documentary by Syrine Boulanouar, who previously co-directed “Les étoiles vagabondes” with the popular French rap musician Nekfeu. The documentary film has been ordered by Paramount+.
The company’s other projects include an environmental thriller mini-series freely inspired by Greta Thunberg and Léna Lazare. The series is being penned by Vincent Vesco and Marc Maouad.
“With Gabman, my ambition is to produce talents who have a track record, as well as discover emerging directors and work with them on projects that are singular and politically engaged,” said Garcia. She said the company will also look to produce content that can appeal to broader audiences and be watched on multiple platforms. Garcia added that the banner will aim at aggregating young talents across different fields, spanning films, series, documentaries and music. The company’s name, Gabman, combines her children’s names, Gabin and Manon.
Gabman’s roster of film projects include “Louise,” the feature debut of Nicolas Keitel (“Le bon copain”). The story revolves around a mother and her two daughters. Garcia’s vehicle is also set to co-produce Rupert Everett’s next film “Lost and Found in Paris” with Jeremy Thomas’ Recorded Picture Company.
Among the projects jointly developed by Gabman and Original Factory are “Claire Voyance,” a series co-written by Didier van Cauwelaert, whose credits include “Unknown” starring Liam Neeson, and Geneviève Delpech (“Je t’aime etc.). The series is also being co-developed with Synchronicity. Aside from “Claire Voyance,” Gabman and Original Factory are also collaborating on an ambitious English-language sci-fi thriller series titled “Code War.”
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