Perseverance and willpower enabled La Factorie to make its move to Lille a reality despite the difficulties encountered during the confinement period.
La Factorie: an artistic partnership
A production studio specializing in animation, La Factorie was created from the synergies between Watch Next Media and Je Suis Bien Content (JSBC) production studios.
Founded in 2015 by Philippe Alessandri, Watch Next Media, is a production studio known on the international scene for its children’s series. Nate is Late (Oscar et Malika, toujours en retard!) at France TV and Super RTL, as well as I, Elvis Riboldi (Moi, Elvis) at Canal + and Boy Girl Dog Cat Mouse Cheese (Boy, Girl, Etc.) and Guili and BBC, have contributed to the studio’s success.
Founded 17 years ago, the quality and richness of its cinematic and audiovisual productions have established Je Suis Bien Content as a key player in this industry. Their feature length films have included Persepolis and April and the Extraordinary World (Avril et le monde truqué), which won the Grand Prix Annecy 2017, as well as France TV series Roger.
For more than a year, Watch Next Media invested in JSBC and the two studios are pooling their resources to focus on a common objective of providing smart entertainment. The two companies have a positive, tolerant and inclusive vision for their productions aimed at a young public. La Factorie – Lille was created to support and strengthen the production capacity of these two Parisian entities.
Located in the heart of a strategic metro area
Now located in Lille, in the fabulous Quai du Wault area, Watch Next and JSBC will create new productions that thrill both the young and old. This was a purposeful choice directly related to Lille’s vibrant audiovisual scene.
At the end of 2018, Pictanovo, Plaine Images and Lille’s agency made a comprehensive presentation to Watch Next on the area’s local business environment and provided an introduction to key players.
Lille’s agency followed up by assisting La Factorie in identifying the location for its new offices, with the support of CBRE de Lille. Lille’s agency also helped the company secure financing from various institutions. Today, the agency is helping to coordinate the steps needed to staff and train future employees. This was all made possible by the collective efforts of Lille’s agency’s partners.
La Factorie – Lille also received financial support from the Métropole Européenne de Lille (MEL) and the Hauts de France region. This was provided as repayable advances in increments of €100,000 to enable the studio to quickly get up and running with the proper equipment.
Lille’s geographic location, only an hour from Paris, was a key strategic advantage. In addition, the area’s well-known animation training programs provide an important reservoir of talent that is key for our studio. The warm welcome we received from industry players and the financial support we received from various public entities was confirmation of our choice. The appeal of the Lille metro area to our particular industry is obvious and we are happy to contribute to it with the arrival of La Factorie – Lille,” says Philippe Alessandri, President at Watch Next.
La Factorie – Lille is now part of the local network of animation leaders, including Ankama, Cyber Group Studios, Madlab, Redfrog, Tchack and Les Films du Nord, all of whom have called the Lille metro area home for years.
As soon as the current pandemic situation allows, the company’s team, led by Anaëlle Hersin, will take possession of their new offices on the Quai du Wault à Lille.
Nawak—the story of a young but unlucky Native American boy who’s just a bit clumsy and his pony Kawak—will be the first project brought to life through the Lille team’s artistic endeavors. The sophisticated animation technique used for this Je Suis Bien Content production required remote training for the 11 animators chosen by La Factorie – Lille.
La Factorie – Lille is busy keeping up with the younger generation’s demands for more—the team is actively working on the second seasons of Nate is Late and Boy Girl Dog Cat Mouse Cheese through the end of 2020.
This new studio has big dreams and has plans to hire for more than 30 technical and creative positions. Creatives, grab your pencils and tablets and let your imagination run wild while you consider joining this passionate team of animators!