Marco Cherqui joins CPB Films as Head of Dramas & Movies

Satellifax - Monday 28th August 2017
Compagnie des Phares et Balises (CPB Films)


Nearly 25 years old, Compagnie des Phares et Balises (CPB Films), founded by Jean Labib, reaches another level of growth in September 2017, both in the documentary field, where the company made its reputation, as well as in fiction, which it has developed since 2007. The announced connection with Camera Lucida Productions, François Bertrand’s company, will be finalised in a few weeks. The two companies are already distributing together under the label CPB International (our edition of 13th July).

Three fiction series are being developed

On the fiction side, CPB is strengthened by the arrival of Marco Cherqui to direct and develop the fiction department (our edition of 25th August). He brings several projects prepared within his own company Chic Films (Kaboul Kitchen, A prophet…). The fiction department of CPB was created in 2007 when the fiction subsidiary, Scarlett Production, became independent. Since then CPB has dedicated itself to Nicolas Le Floch, the police officer at the time of Louis XV, producing 12 episodes of 100’. 

But that is not all: after Intrusion, a fantasy mini-series for Arte, it has recently produced two crime fictions for France 3: In the wood, shown (Murder in...'s collection aired on France 3) on 30th April 2016, and Murder in...Orléans, coproduced with ALV Productions (Eddy Charbit), filmed in July 2017. It is also developing Laëtitia (4 x 52', France 3), together with Jean-Xavier de Lestrade and Antoine Lacomblez, about the murder near Pornic in 2011 of a young girl of 18 and a 90’ TV Drama The Legacy directed by Pierre Lacan (Producer: Iris Strauss, CPB Films) …Two series brought by Marco Cherqui are now added: Les sauvages for Canal+, and Un avion sans elle for M6.


The documentary production is diversified

On the documentary side, CPB has at present nearly 25 hours in production. The great historical documentary which has made its reputation continues with Slavery Routes (4 x 52', Arte), with a part in animation, entrusted to the studio Mikros Liège. Unable to benefit from an increased support from the CNC, for this type of hybrid production (a subject being studied by the CNC – our 21st June 2017 edition), this series is partly funded by the Belgian tax credit. Another series with an international vocation, French Mob Empire (3 x 52’) analyses the mondialisation of banditism. It is coauthored by Julien Johan and Frédéric Ploquin, coauthors of The Underworld & The French Republic  by CPB (France 5 in 2016).

Beside these great projects, the company has diversified its documentary production for the last two years. For RMC Découverte in prime time, History's Greatest Lies, with three episodes produced and three new ones – Watergate, the war in Iraq and the Rainbow Warrior – in production, based on another economy. It is a production  “at controlled costs, but not low-cost, explains Jean Labib, with a single set for the 3 episodes, a lot of preparatory writing, an export bonus from the CNC, and our experience in treating archives”.

CPB also addresses new themes: science, with Venice, The technological challenge through the ages, a 90’ for the time slot Grand format Science of France 5; nature, with an original animal film for France 2 and its time slot Grandeurs nature, dedicated to …The surprising world of rabbit

Finally, CPB continues the production of portraits in the field of art and culture. It is completing a 52’ for Arte on the writer Karen Blixen - Karen Blixen, An African Night's Dream, while producing another on the painter Miró - Inside Juan Miró (in coproduction with Minimal Films and Avrotros). But it also takes an interest in political personalities, like the politician Roland Dumas, on whom a film of one hour has been delivered to France 3, or Magda Goebbels. For this film about the wife of Hitler’s minister of propaganda - Magda Goebbels, First lady of the third reich - , destined for the time slot Infrarouge of France 2, CPB International has obtained much pre-financing abroad, such as the German information and documentary channel N24 (group ProSiebenSat.1).