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Set jetting on the Côte d’Azur

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Back in January I mentioned that I’d just returned from a 10-day trip to the Côte d’Azur as a guest of the local tourist board, who were keen to highlight the region’s film connections to potential visitors.

Since then I’ve been putting together a new blog, www.filmtravellercotedazur.com, which will see me cover the trip via blog posts, photos and video content over the next few months.

Filming near the village of Eze
Filming near the village of Eze

The blog launched in Paris a fortnight ago (I sadly couldn’t make it to the event), with the following, slightly tongue-in-cheek, trailer announcing our plans:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPV61YrySdI

There are plenty more towns and villages still to come on the blog and it’s been fascinating researching the numerous film connections since my return home.

Along with my 2012 tour of locations used in the Disney-Pixar film, Brave, it’s been a good time for set jetting.

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Location spotting on the French Riviera

Film Traveller looking onto Cap Ferrat

After 10 days of travel in the Côte d’Azur for my latest project, I’m now getting down to the task of organising a few thousand photos and hours of video into something that might make sense for a dedicated blog.

Jacques Tati mural in Cannes
Jacques Tati mural in Cannes

The trip found me touring various towns and villages around the French Riviera as I tried to track down some of the locations used in films over the years, including Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief. I met some fantastic people, found some places that I’d previously only watched my TV set and wondered why I hadn’t visited the region before.

I’ll have more details on the blog’s launch in a few weeks time.

Jon Melville in Porsche Speedster

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A French connection for new project

It’s a new year so it’s time for a new project in a new country. Following my work in 2012 on Cinematic Scotland, a project which looks at various connections between the country and film, this week sees me take a slight diversion as I head to the French Riviera, better known locally as the  Côte d’Azur.

The Promenade des Anglais in Nice
The Promenade des Anglais in Nice

In collaboration with European super-blogger Kash Bhattacharya, the Budget Traveller and one of the masterminds behind Edinburgh’s recent hugely successful Blogmanay project, I’ll be the guest of the CRT Côte d’Azur, the tourism agency for the Riviera.

I’ll be touring the area to discover some of the locations of movies such as To Catch a Thief, Ronin and The Transporter, plus TV series including The Persuaders! (a guilty pleasure of mine). I’ll take photos and shoot some video while meeting people who live and work in the area, all of which will be collected on a new blog, to be officially launched in a few weeks time.

A short version of the itinerary is currently looking something like this:

  • Nice – To Catch a Thief (1955), The Persuaders! (1971), Condorman (1981), Ronin (1998), Swordfish (2001) and The Transporter (2004). Visit the homes of director Romain Gary, Gabrielle Chanel and more…
  • Villefranche-sur-Mer – The Adventures of Captain Fabian (1950), An Affair to Remember (1957), Never Say Never Again (1983), The Jewel of the Nile (1985), Ronin (1998) and Killers (2010). A visit to the Chapel St Pierre, decorated by filmmaker Jean Cocteau
  • Grasse – GoldenEye (1995)
  • Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
  • Saint-Paul de Vence  – Moment to Moment (1966), OSS 117 – Mission to Tokyo (1966) and Big Kiss (2004)
  • Antibes – Let’s Not Get Angry (1966), Never Say Never Again (1983), The Big Blue (1988), Lolita (1998)
  • Cannes – French Kiss (1995),  Ronin (1998)

So feel free to tweet me any suggestions for the trip and I’ll see if I can visit them.

I’ll be using the #cinemazur hashtag to pull it all together and try to get some suggestions from film fans and travellers about some of the best things to see and do in the French Riviera.