Martine Marignac Dies: Jacques Rivette, Jean-Luc Godard, Leos Carax Producer Was 75

Martine Marignac, the French producer who worked with a myriad of iconic directors including Jacques Rivette, Jean-Luc Godard and Leos Carax, has died in France at the age of 75.

Born in 1946, Marignac broke into cinema in the 1970s as a press attaché, working for seven years alongside Simon Mizrahi, the cinephile and publicist who witnessed the birth of the New Wave and then helped put its directors on the map.

Marignac moved into production in the early 1980s with the creation of the film collective La Cecilia. She took inspiration for the collective’s name from the Cecilia Colony in Brazil founded by a group of Italian anarchists in the late 19th Century.

Under this banner, she began her long-time working relationship with Rivette, taking credits on his 1981 film Pont De Nord. Other credits during this period included Godard’s Passion, Jean-Louis Comolli’s Balles Perdues and Chantal Akerman’s Golden Eighties.

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In 1987, Marignac created a new company Pierre Grise Productions with Maurice Tinchant. There, she continued to produce Rivette’s films, bringing to fruition productions such as his Cannes 1991 Grand Jury Prize winner La Belle Noiseuse as well as Up, Down, Fragile and his last feature before his death in 2016, Around A Small Mountain.

Actress Emmanuelle Béart, who remained close to Marignac after starring opposite Michel Piccoli and Jane Birkin in La Belle Noiseuse, paid tribute to the producer on her Instagram account.

“Another part of my life has taken flight and cinema is losing a strong and engaged producer,” she wrote.

Marignac also had close ties with Georgian director Otar Iosseliani, who emigrated to France in 1982 due to political persecution back home.  She produced most of his films from the early 1990s onwards, beginning with La Chasse Aux Papillons.

Other long-time collaborators included the French directorial duo Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub. She produced most their features including their Cannes 1999 Un Certain Regard title Sicily!.

In 2009, Marignac was awarded Locarno Film Festival’s Raimondo Rezzonico Award feting independent producers. Recipients to have followed in her wake include Arnon Milchan, Gale Anne Hurd and, this year, Jason Blum.

Over the course of her 40-year career, Marignac racked up just under 50 feature credits and remained active up until 2019. Her credits over the last decade included Leos Carax’s Holy Motors, Sophie Fillières’ If You Don’t, I Will, Iosseliani’s Winter Song and Jeanne Balibar’s Wonders In The Suburbs, on which she was an executive producer.

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