The star series of TF1 Demain belongs to us is not the only one to use Sète as a backdrop. Bathed in a miraculous light, this beautiful Mediterranean has long inspired filmmakers who find it an ideal setting to shoot their films: the heights of Mont Saint-Clair, a long beach, pretty typical Languedoc neighborhoods, a fishing port, canals … Many films, TV films and series have been made here, which offers a lot of ideas for original walks. On the way to the most photogenic city in the South of France!
Sète movie star
In recent years, a quarter of the films shot in the Occitanie region have been shot in Sète. This attraction has manifested itself for a long time. One of the oldest and most famous feature films to have been made - in part - in the town is Pepe le Moko (1937), a work by Julien Duvivier interpreted by Jean Gabin and whose action is located… in Algiers.
Sète is however more recognizable in other more recent films, for example César and Rosalie by Claude Sautet (1971). Between the beach of the Corniche and the port, Romy Schneider, Sami Frey and Yves Montand confront their feelings during important sequences of a story which also takes place in Paris and Noirmoutier.
In one of the film's key scenes, these stars attend the famous nautical jousting of Sète, a tournament which brings together, in summer, men dressed in white, armed with a shield and a lance, and who compete from the top of 2 boats (the red and the blue) propelled by 10 rowers. These fights, not without danger, take place in a very festive atmosphere to the sound of oboe and drum. The 276th feast of Saint-Louis, which consecrates the world of jousting will take place in 2018 from August 23 to 28, which is to say if the tradition of jousting is anchored in the city.
From the Pointe Courte d'Agnès Varda to the quays of Abdellatif Kechiche
Another place that inspired cinema: the Short Point, a lovely little port overlooking the Thau lagoon. This district is one of the most attractive of Sète, with its alleys, its picturesque little houses and the Pointus boats (this is the name of the inhabitants of the district).
La Pointe Courte has captivated so much Agnès Varda which she named her first feature film, produced in Sète in 1954. The action takes place in the district at the heart of the fishermen's world according to the reality-cinema bias dear to Agnès Varda. Today, this story of a couple in difficulty, played by Silvia Monfort and Philippe Noiret, can also be viewed as an invaluable documentary on the Sète of the time.
Agnès Varda is also a faithful of Sète since, half a century later, she returned to shoot there. The beaches of Agnes (2007), a film in which she evokes the important events of her life through the beaches that have marked her. Among these, the Corniche beach, where, in a way, his career began with the filming of La Pointe Courte.
La Corniche beach is one of the many beaches of Sète, which accumulate 12 km of stretches of sand. Separating the Mediterranean Sea from the Thau lagoon, the shore is one of the most beautiful beaches in the South of France. A superb film set, which has hosted many shootings.
The beaches are not, however, the only Sète marine settings to be found on the screen. The port and what thus served as a framework for several scenes of The grain and the mule (2007) ofKechiche. This is where the boat that the characters in the film, a family of Tunisian origin, intend to transform into a restaurant is moored.
Like Agnès Varda, the webbed director of La vie d'Adèle is a repeat offender. Last year, he returned to Sète for his latest film, released this winter: Mektoub, my love: canto uno (2017), one of whose characters works, again, in a family restaurant in the port district.
Fascinating beating heart of the city, the port of Sète was born during the reign of Louis XIV a little over 350 years ago. On its quays, as well as on those of canals, we can make a pleasant stop in a café while admiring the architecture of this beautiful city ... and, who knows, observe the work of film crews, including that of the series Tomorrow belongs to us ou Candice Renoir.
Sète on TV
Because Sète also inspires television for two very successful series. So the policewoman Candice Renoir (played by Cécile Bois), a real star of the small screen, has been working in Sète since 2012 to the delight of France 2 viewers.
Among the innumerable places of Sète frequented by Candice, let us quote the Grand Hotel, Theater of the Sea Leclerc promenade and its cove, the Vauban quay and the police station, the bar Old Port, Villeroy and its villas, the lighthouse at the end of Saint-Louis pier, But also Lido et Thau pond with its villages located around it. You can taste oysters in Mèze, Bouzigues or Marseillan, you can discover pretty little typically Languedoc towns such as Balaruc-le-Vieux, Poussan, Gigean, Loupian, or Montbazin, as well as vineyards, scrublands ... So many opportunities to stroll very pleasantly from Sète, these destinations being very close to the city!
Another production shot in Sète, Tomorrow belongs to us is for its part a daily soap opera broadcast by TF1 since the summer of 2017. Interweaving family stories and police intrigues, it has in its distribution, very supplied, actors like Ingrid Chauvin, Samy Gharbi, Lorie Pester, Charlotte Valandrey, Alexandre Brasseur … A studio of over 7 square meters was created specifically for the production needs, but many scenes are also shot across the city. It's up to you to discover them in future episodes or, better, by coming to Sète.
Were also all or part filmed in Sète…
And that's not all ... Sète rolls out a breathtaking opening credits. Dozens of other filmmakers have used the city as the backdrop for their films, including Babette going to war by Christian-Jaque with Brigitte Bardot (1959), Le Gitan by José Giovanni with Alain Delon (1974), L 'Sacred Union of Alexandre Arcady with Richard Berry and Patrick Bruel (1988).
More recently, Sète hosted the shootings of Un week-end sur deux by Nicole Garcia with Nathalie Baye (1990), Le Petit Criminal by Jacques Doillon with Richard Anconina (1990), Bellamy, Claude Chabrol's last film with Gérard Depardieu ( 2008), or Tout nous separates by Thierry Klifa with Catherine Deneuve and Diane Kruger (2017)… End clap… for now!
The SunSète Festival
You like the movies ? No need to wait for the next shoot to meet stars in Sète. You just have to wait a few weeks to attend the SunSète Festival.
This festival takes place every year in July (from 7 to 12, in 2018). Its program includes meetings with film personalities, as well as screenings of short and long films in competition. Alexandre Arcady, Agnès Varda, Abdellatif Khechiche, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Laetitia Casta, Fanny Cottençon, among others, were the guests.
Good to know: open-air cinema screenings are offered at night on La Fontaine beach (Place Roger-Thérond, near Villeroy). We watch the projections with our feet in the sand and our heads under the stars ...
Sète, a real star!
Sète tourist office: www.tourisme-sete.com
SunSète Festival: www.sunsete-festival.fr