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©Briançon, The City With 300 Sunny Days Per Year |Valentin Pacaut - The Explorers

The southern French Alps

in the limelight

Magnificent, graphic and always aesthetic, the Alps offer a privileged setting for inspired actors. We’re taking you off to discover some mythical filming spots in the Alps. Love stories, alien invasions and even a police investigation… the mountains and villages of the Alps attract the filmmakers who adore these natural settings and offer us beautiful ideas for films!

Published on 30 March 2021

Les Courriers de la mort

A police investigation in Digne-les-Bains

Visit the Alps steeped in suspense, by immersing yourself in the screenplay of Les Courriers de la Mort, a telefilm by Philomène Esposito based on the book by Pierre Magnan. Head for Digne-les-Bains and Barles in the Alpes de Haute Provence, where most of the story takes place. A walk around the site and you will be able to see the famous letterbox near the cemetery, the starting point of the intrigue. The geological formation of the Clue de Barles (a narrow gorge carved by torrents) appears as an echo of the tension of the story. After the murder of rich Véronique Melliflore in Digne-les-Bains, Juge Chabrand and retired Commissaire Laviolette set off in search of the truth to try and solve this mystery.


Alex Hugo

A series in the mountains of the Alps and the Grand Briançonnais

Rediscover all the places where Alex Hugo , the successful series broadcast on France 2, was shot. Because he could no longer bear all the violence in his job, Alex Hugo, the policeman from Marseille (played by Samuel Le Bihan), decides to leave everything to go and live in the mountains. He hopes to find freedom and peace in the mountains and his new day-to-day life in the rural police force. See all the beauty of the Southern French Alps on screen, with in particular sequences on the Glacier Blanc and the Falaise d’Orpierre. These sequences were actually supervised by mountain guides in charge of the safety of the actors who had to face up to bad weather conditions. The landscapes of the Grand Briançonnais are also in the limelight, as is the Vallée de la Clarée, renamed Vallée de Lusagne in the film, which is one of the main filming locations.


La fille sur le pont

A love story on the rails of the Caranca Tunnel

Would you have recognized the landscapes of the Alps which appear in Patrice Leconte’s film La fille sur le pont ? Vanessa Paradis, Daniel Auteuil and their incredible acting experience settled in the Station of Breil-Sur-Roya, a little village in the Parc du Mercantour for the shooting. We also see them on place Louis Armand and on the rails which go through the Caranca Tunnel in the Alpes-Maritimes. And of course the unforgettable scene of Gabor on the rails outside the tunnel. The film tells the story of Adèle, a young girl on the verge of suicide, devastated by her sentimental mishaps, who is saved in the nick of time by Gabor, a professional knife thrower looking for a new partner. Together, luck will come their way and they will discover that without each other, it will be difficult to succeed…


L’eau vive

A heritage sows the seeds of discord along the River Durance

Among the films shot in France, L’eau Vive made by François Villiers in 1958, and written by Jean Giono, is an absolute must. And we also owe to Guy Béart a song with the same title, which is also the soundtrack of the film. L’eau Vive takes place in the fantastic setting of the Lake of Serre-Ponçon and takes us back into the context of the Herculean task of building the Serre-Ponçon dam, which diverted the course of the Durance and turned Provence upside down. The story is that of a young girl, Hortense, who inherits 30 million francs from her father, which was the compensation for expropriation following the death of the building of the dam. A young girl whose thirst for freedom will enable her to slip between the fingers of certain members of her family who will stop at nothing recover her fortune.


La guerre des mondes

Aliens invade the Hautes-Alpes

Looking for an idea of a film to see? All aboard for the planet Mars or rather the Hautes-Alpes, where the aliens in the War of the Worlds have started to invade the planet… Follow the family story of a divorced couple and their two children who have to face up to the alien invasion and a planet which is falling into ruin. This Canal + series is adapted from the novel by H.G. Wells, and it was filmed in the Dévoluy. You can see the Plateau de Bure, chosen for its Antarctic-like landscape. Some even find that it bears a resemblance to the settings of “Star Wars”… And the IRAM observatory and the radio antenna which listen to space in the film, really exist. Since it can only reach the location after a 7-hour walk or by helicopter, the extras were mostly mountain guides.


Belle et Sébastien

A story that marked Belvédère

Belle et Sébastien is set in the most beautiful landscapes in the Alps. Written and made by Cécile Aubry , it was shot in 1964 in the Vallée de la Gordolasque and the village of Belvédère, in the Alpes-Maritimes. An orphan, Sébastien, was taken in by an old shepherd, and Belle, a mountain dog escaped from a kennels and chased by the villagers who deem her dangerous, are both moving characters. They are going to become very close friends and protect each other from the dangers of the mountains. The natural setting was ideal: mountains, snow, cold… the elements were all there for a successful shooting. This historic film marked the inhabitants of Belvédère, many of them having participated as extras. If you go there, you’ll be able to see the shepherd’s hut at the end of the valley!