Breton rurality, star of the next France TV soap opera

A “More beautiful life” with Brittany sauce? This may put un little balm in the hearts of fans of the famous series, interrupted in November, after 18 seasons. For its “next major project”, the public service is swapping the Marseille sun for the green landscapes of rural Brittany. “Déter” will be set in the agricultural school of Étrelles (35), a town of 2,600 souls, located near Vitré (35), 40 km from Rennes.

The sentimental and academic life of a group of high school students

“The series will tell the life, both sentimental and academic, of a band from this establishment”, explains Toma De Matteis, deputy director of France TV studio, production subsidiary of the audiovisual group. “It will be the story of this diverse youth who did not choose the traditional sector and learned agricultural trades. The cameras should take the opportunity to wander around local farms, through the experiences of the four main characters.

The agriculture that I know is also made up of families who love their job, not necessarily turned towards a macabre destiny

Putting rurality at the heart of a great saga, we had to dare. “It comes from a conversation I had one day with a person who had done this course,” says Augustin Bernard, of Black Sheep Films, co-producer of the series. “I immediately imagined lots of images that we have not yet seen. The opportunity to show a more positive part of the agricultural world, often told in the mode of social drama. “The agriculture that I know is also made up of families who love their job, not necessarily turned towards a macabre destiny”, adds Toma De Matteis.

Augustin Bernard, producer at Black Sheep Films, got the idea for the series while talking to a former agricultural high school student (Le Télégramme/Romain Roux)

Local benefits

For the past few days, preparations have been in full swing at the site, where filming is due to start in April. Enough to give a second life to the building, a real agricultural high school, closed in 2019. “At the height of its history, there were up to 1,500 students. When it closed, we only had 150,” notes Isabelle Le Callennec, president of Vitré communautaire. A godsend for the one who is also a regional councilor, since the production should ensure great benefits for her territory. And for good reason: the team will stay there for nearly 200 days, for at least one season and perhaps a second. Even more, if public affinity. The producers also promise to hire local workers. As for the casting, it takes place in Paris but also in Brittany.

More people will want to come and live here

So many good reasons for the Region to subsidize the series to the tune of €300,000. “We are proud to be a partner in this project, which highlights important issues for Brittany. Even if it risks accentuating our problems since even more people will want to come and live here, ”smiles Loïg Chesnais-Girard, the president of the regional council. The Land, an agricultural training network based in Ille-et-Vilaine, is also associated. It is he who provides the unused high school and even his own general manager, who will advise the scriptwriters.

200 seven-minute episodes

For the time being, there is still some doubt about the broadcast of the series, scheduled to start in the fall of 2023. One thing is certain: the approximately 200 seven-minute pellets from season 1 will be available on the platform. They will also be compiled into weekly 35-minute episodes, which the producers hope to see land on one of the group’s channels. France 2 ? France 3? On what time slot? “Our ambition is to reach as many people as possible”, answer the producers.

Breton rurality, star of the next France TV soap opera