14.09.2015.

Biopic about legendary Jacques Cousteau, The Odyssey, filming in Croatia

The Odyssey, which has been filming on three different Dalmatian islands the last seven days, is a biopic about the legendary French oceanographer and undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau. The setting is the South of France, and the location is being played by Hvar, Vis and Biševo islands, where Cousteau first dove.

Thanks to support from the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, The Odyssey is being filmed in Croatia, where, in 14 days, the film crew will spend approximately one million EUR (7.4 million HRK) and will have the right to a 20% return on expenditures, amounting to approximately 1.4 million HRK.  Scenes are being filmed on Hvar (Hvar, Starigrad, Jelsa, Jagodna Bay, Paklinski Islands), Vis and Biševo, and two thirds of the crew are made up of Croatian film professionals, including sector heads such as scenographer Ivica Trpčić, costume designer Nikolina Kostanjšek, make-up artist Tina Jasenković, art director Jurica Ester, and others.

Jérôme Salle wrote and is directing The Odyssey, while the film stars Lambert Wilson as Cousteau, Audrey Tautou as his wife Simone, and Pierre Niney as Cousteau’s tragically departed son Philippe.  Production is being handled by Fidélité Films/Pan-Européenne, while production in Croatia is in the hands of MP Film Production.

Jacques Cousteau is a legendary French oceanographer and undersea explorer who filmed 120 documentaries about the secrets of the sea, making a large contribution to the understanding of the underwater world. Along with Louis Malle, he filmed The Silent World (Le monde du silence) which, in 1956, won the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival, followed by an Oscar. 

Cousteau won two more Oscars and a series of film awards, but most people remember him for his documentary series The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau which aired in the latter half of the 60s and was one of the most popular series at that time. In 1943, along with engineer Émile Gagnan, Cousteau constructed the first automatic diving regulator, and participated in creating and perfecting other diving equipment. He also received the Legion of Honor for his participation in World War II.

After Croatia, the crew will head on to South Africa and the Antarctic, where they will be filming until the end of December. The film is expected to premiere in the autumn of 2016.

Through the incentives program for film/TV production, The Odyssey is now the eighth project being filmed in Croatia in 2015.  To date, five productions have completed filming in Croatia (Dig, Fan, Crossing Lines, En Amont du Fleuve, The Lake), while production is under way for the animated documentary film Chris the Swiss, as well as the Winnetou trilogy. 

Three more projects are expected to be filmed by the end of the year, and it is estimated that total income generated from all productions this year will be 171.4 million HRK, which is more than double last year’s total (82.9 million HRK) and surpasses total income generated since the program was initiated three years ago.

Photos from the set, as well as statements from director Jérôme Salle, lead actor Lambert Wilson, producer Igor A. Nola, HAVC head Hrvoje Hribar and Philippe Cousteau’s wife, Jan Cousteau, can be found here.

Filming in Croatia is a programme of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre

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