Banijay Rights announced French-Canadian network Radio-Canada has acquired “Germinal,” the new six-part drama based on Émile Zola’s classic 19th century novel. Coproduced by Banijay Studios France and Pictanovo with the support of La Région Hauts-de-France for France Télévisions, in collaboration with Rai Fiction and Salto, the deal marks the first international sale for the sweeping historical series, which has been struck ahead of its launch.
“Germinal” is the story of a miners’ strike during the Second Empire in a community in northern France. At barely 20 years of age, Etienne Lantier flees Lille after assaulting a superior and finds refuge in the coal mining town of Montsou, where he befriends veteran miner Maheu, who secures him a job pushing carts down the pit and offers him a place to stay.
Etienne discovers the harsh working conditions of miners and the daily humiliations endured by the workers. However, deciding to stay, partly for the beautiful Catherine, Maheu’s daughter, he is soon adopted by the community. But one day when he and his comrades are fined for deficient woodwork, tempers flare and Etienne plans a revolt and begins to dream of a social revolution. Trained by Souvarine, an anarchist mechanic, and Rasseneur, the owner of a local bistro, Etienne does not realize what enthusiasm and chaos his ideas will raise.
“‘Germinal’ is a powerful literary masterpiece from Émile Zola and one of the seminal works of French literature. This breath-taking adaptation is storytelling at its finest and we are thrilled to be partnering with Radio-Canada on its Canadian launch,” said Jane Rimer, SVP Canada at Banijay Rights.
Dany Meloul, General Manager of Radio-Canada Television, added: “Radio-Canada has a proud tradition of offering some of the most prestigious international drama productions to its viewers. ‘Germinal’ will undoubtedly generate a lot of interest as its cast include two young talented actors from Quebec: Rose-Marie Perreault and Aliocha Schneider’’.
“Germinal” was produced with the support of Procirep-Société des Producteurs and Angoa, with the participation of the CNC. Earlier this month, the series won the audience award at Series Mania 2021, following its premiere at the Lille-based event.