‘It’s a gripping thriller featuring solid characters with strong back stories and intriguing personal journeys’

Distributor StudioCanal
Producer Curiosa Films
Length 12 x 52 minutes
Broadcaster Canal+ (France)

Of Money And Blood is “a cinematic thriller” based around a famous French carbon tax scandal, explains Beatriz Campos, senior vice-president of global sales and production financing at StudioCanal. “The series is freely inspired by the book D’argent Et De Sang by French investigative journalist Fabrice Arfi.”

The book tells the story of how swindlers found a way to embezzle carbon quotas in 2008/09. A scheme created to help save the planet from environmental destruction ultimately led to a global fraud that has been called ‘the scam of the century’.

In the French-language TV adaptation, tough magistrate Simon Weynachter (Vincent Lindon) creates an investigative service to combat white-collar crime. In the process, he stumbles across irregularities in carbon quotas and resolves to shut down the unfolding financial and environmental catastrophe.

Of Money and Blood_00251988 © Curiosa Films

Campos calls the high-end series “a very character-driven piece with outstanding performances that will leave the audience wanting more”.

But how has production company Curiosa Films managed to make the subject of carbon taxes engaging for audiences?

“As complex as the idea sounds, it has all the elements that work well in TV,” says Campos. “First and foremost, it’s a gripping thriller featuring solid characters with strong back stories and intriguing personal journeys.

“Ultimately, it’s a drama that tackles the world we live in and the complex relationship each of us has with money and power.”

 “We are confident a wide audience will be hooked by it”

A Canal+ création originale, Campos says the series is “completed, delivered and travelling the world”. No sales have yet been announced, but “the launch at Venice Film Festival gathered impressive reviews and attention, a testament to the global success we foresee for the series”.

Campos is convinced Of Money And Blood will appeal to a broad range of international buyers. “It’s hard to believe a fraud of this kind actually happened. It all centres on a loophole exploited by the most unexpected characters and a crime that goes beyond France. We are confident a wide audience will be hooked by it.”

Campos is coy about how much the series cost, only saying that “the cinematic and international ambition has led to an important and well=deserved budget”.

One element that is likely to intrigue buyers is the involvement of feted director Xavier Giannoli. Best known for critically acclaimed features (Marguerite; Lost Illusions), Of Money And Blood is Giannoli’s first foray into scripted television.

Campos says that buyers are also intrigued by the quality of scripted content coming out of France right now: “Figures for 2022 confirm the growth of French exports: 15.4% higher than 2021, according to CNC/Unifrance. This is a historical record showing that French-language productions are in higher demand than ever before.”

Vivendi-owned StudioCanal, part of the same family as Canal+, owns several indies, but Curiosa is not one of them. Explaining the connection, Campos says her company “has been distributing most of the Canal+ créations originales for many years, so we are used to actively collaborating with third-party producers”.