Based on the novel titled ‘The Flight Portfolio’ by Julie Orringer, inspired by the true story of the Emergency Rescue Committee, Netflix’s ‘Transatlantic’ is a historical drama series created by Anna Winger and Daniel Hendler. Set in 1940, during the reign of the Nazis, the narrative follows a journalist named Varian Fry who travels to France with the Emergency Rescue Committee. They hope to rescue artists and writers from the Nazis and immigrate them to the United States within a few weeks. However, Varian stays in the country for more than a year, determined to complete his mission by procuring false documents, raising funds, and arranging journeys across Spain and Portugal to provide safe ports for all the refugees.
An heiress named Mary Jayne Gold also comes to Varian’s aid as they help some of Europe’s most prominent artists flee away, including Hannah Arendt, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, and Marc Chagall. The biographical show features stellar onscreen performances from a talented ensemble comprising Cory Michael Smith, Gillian Jacobs, Lucas Englander, Corey Stoll, and Grégory Montel. The series unfolds in Marseille during the 1940s, seamlessly portrayed by the strategic use of different streets and palaces. Even though bright visuals are not typical of period productions, they work well with ‘Transatlantic.’ So, if you are wondering where the period drama series is filmed, you might be interested in what we have to share!
Transatlantic Filming Locations
‘Transatlantic’ is filmed in France, especially in Marseille. According to reports, the principal photography for the debut season of the drama series commenced in March 2022 and wrapped up in August of the same year. Interestingly, the show is recorded in multiple languages — English, French, and German. Now, without further ado, let’s follow Varian and Mary in their mission to rescue some important figures from the clutches of the Nazis and get a detailed account of all the specific locations that appear in the Netflix series!
To keep things as true-to-life and authentic as possible, the production team of ‘Transatlantic’ sets up camp in and around Marseille, the capital of France’s Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. From the looks of it, they utilize different neighborhoods and sites across the city to tape some pivotal sequences against suitable backdrops.
In an early April 2023 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, co-creator Anna Winger was asked if they had shot the entirety of the series in Marseille on location. She stated, “Everything in Marseille. The hotel in the film is the real hotel. It’s now an administrative office. We shot at the real internment camp. The prison is the real one where they kept the inmates.”
Winger added, “The wharf, the beaches, and the port are all the actual locations. The real Villa Air-Belle had been torn down, but we found another villa nearby. The south of France is full of these insane villas. The one we found hadn’t been touched since the ’40s. It was like it was waiting for us.”
Moreover, since the cast and crew members utilize the locales of different parts of Marseille, viewers are bound to spot some iconic destinations and landmarks of the city. Some are the Porte d’Aix, La Vieille Charité, the Abbey of Saint-Victor, the Hôtel de Ville, and the Old Port or Vieux-Port. Besides ‘Transatlantic,’ Marseille’s locations have been featured in numerous film and TV projects, including ‘The Son,’ ‘Army of Shadows,’ ‘A Mighty Heart,’ ‘Angel Face,’ ‘Marseille,’ and ‘Plan B.’
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