In this compelling Netflix original seven-part series, TRANSATLANTIC, takes us back to France in 1940, where American Varian Fry has traveled to Marseille carrying three thousand dollars and a list of imperiled artists and writers he hoped to help escape from the encroaching Nazi collaboration with the Vichy government, within a few weeks. Instead, he stayed more than a year, working to procure false documents, amass emergency funds, and arrange journeys across Spain and Portugal, where the refugees would embark for safer ports. His many clients included Hannah Arendt, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, and Marc Chagall, and the race against time to save them is a tale of forbidden love, high-stakes adventure, and unimaginable courage. TRANSATLANTIC features an excellent cast of American and international actors that includes; Gillian Jacobs, Corey Stoll, Lucas Englander, Corey Michael Smith and Ralph Amoussou. TRANSATLANTIC was produced and co-written by Anna Winger (Daniel Handler), Co-directors Stephanie Chuat and Veronique Reymond (My Little Sister, join us for a conversation on the challenge of directing the first four of the seven episodes, how important it was for them to strike the appropriate tone for a “film” that moves between from life threatening to life affirming within each episodes, working with an international cast and their upcoming project, a English language reboot of their first film, The Little Bedroom.
About the filmmakers – Stephanie Chuat and Veronique Reymond have known each other since their childhood. Both passionate about theatre, they were trained actresses and have performed in numerous Swiss and French theatrical productions. They have created many shows as a stage duo as well, and their first step towards cinema was by including video in their plays. This led them to write and direct four short films. One of them, Berlin Backstage, shot in the prestigious Berlin Philharmony, won an award at the Berlin Today Award (Berlinale 2004). The duo moved on to write and direct their first feature film, La petite chambre (The Little Bedroom), starring legendary French actor Michel Bouquet. Premiered at the Locarno Film Festival 2010, the film was selected to represent Switzerland at the Academy Awards, was honered with two Swiss Quartz Prizes (Best Fiction Film and Best Screenplay), and received a dozen Awards in international festivals. Their second fiction feature My Little Sister, with major German actors Nina Hoss and Lars Eidinger was selected in Competition at the 70th Berlinale (2020), is the Swiss Oscars Contender for Best International Feature and wins a bunch of Awards in numerous festivals, among them five Quartz at the Swiss Film Awards. Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond have explored the documentary field by directing Evening Class for grown-ups (2005) and Buffo, Buten & Howard, (2009). In 2018, they joined forces again to direct Ladies, a documentary premiered at Visons du Réel Film Festival, and selected by a number of festivals. It was nominated for the Swiss Film Award in the Best Documentary category and has been a box office success in Swiss theatres. The duo also wrote and directed Open Book (2014), a series broadcasted on Swiss and French Television. This successful experience led them to write a new series, Toxic, currently in development, produced by Gaumont-France in coproduction with RTS-Switzerland.In 2022, Chuat & Reymond directed Anna Winger’s (Unorthodox) new show Transatlantic, released on Netflix in April 2023. At the same time, the duet is working on developing new projects, among them the US reboot of their first feature La petite chambre-The Little Bedroom. Morgan Freeman, Kate Mara and Laurence Fishburne are attached to this US version of the film. The shooting is planned for 2023.
“The series as a whole shines a light by association on the ongoing plight of refugees, on resurgent nativism and antisemitism, and the deaf ear we are liable to turn to any crisis not literally on our doorstep.” – Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times
“While the show isn’t afraid to get as dark as its circumstances require, it’s also not afraid to embrace the occasional moment of levity, from funny misunderstandings to romantic drama to even an unexpected musical number.” – Liz Shannon Miller, Consequence
“An effective, crowd-pleasing thriller. It moves briskly, lays out the story and stakes cleanly, and has three strong and likable lead performances by Cory Michael Smith as Fry, Gillian Jacobs as Gold, and Lucas Englander as Albert Hirschman.” – Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone
“A unique gem among World War II stories. The ensemble cast is what lifts Transatlantic into a status beyond just another WWII story, as Winger creates a fully lived world of nuances.” – Alberto Cox Délano, Pajiba