Falling in love with OM in the 1990s before gradually moving away from it, director Aymeric Colletta unveils this Thursday a documentary mini-series of portraits of Olympian supporters. A project put together before the Covid, and finally revealed to the general public with a simple objective: to put faces on those who are called Fadas.
It started with a call from the producer, Mathieu Rozières, who told me that there was material to do something offbeat, innovative on Marseille supporters. We are still in the cliché of the Marseillais who fear degun, but there is a wealth, a variety of profiles in this people. The series is eight episodes, eight encounters with unexpected people, whom one would not imagine as unconditional supporters of a club. It goes from the accountant to the chef. We found it interesting to do something about this intimate passion, with a different prism, without including football images. The goal was to show how this love of OM is rooted in everyday life, whatever your place in society, your job, your social background. We didn’t want well-known and clichéd faces like René Malleville (deceased last September, editor’s note), we were looking for unique people. They’re all brainwashed, so we called it Fadas.
And you, are you also crazy about OM?
I am 37 years old, it was OM Cantona and Papin who caught me. I grew up in the south, I tanned my parents to go to the Vélodrome in 1992, 1993, 1994. I had whims in the shop on the Canebière. I still have this sky blue Adidas tracksuit from the era which was beautiful. I slept with it at the hotel that day and didn’t take it off for a week. I was well bitten. Afterwards, for the Marseillais, I am a bit footix, because I love the game, the show so much, that when we go down in the rankings, when we play badly, I am less the club. I don’t have this fidelity and the length of soul of the people I filmed. It is only by supporting France that I find this unwavering loyalty that they have for their club.
“We are still in the cliché of the Marseillais who fear degun, but there is a wealth, a variety of profiles in this people. »
Did you use it for filming?
I wrote this with Jean-Baptiste Loi, who is a real OM fanatic. He had his head in the handlebars, I was able to take a step back since I am the club from afar now. This is the danger to avoid in these cases: finding the limit, because you have to tell the story of these characters and not just extend your own.
Precisely, what were you trying to show through these eight portraits?
We wanted strong personalities, which we identified after a pre-survey. We launched appeals on social networks, we appealed to our friendly networks in Marseille and elsewhere, to supporters’ clubs, although this was not what was the most productive in the end. Well, that allowed us to find Bacary, in the heart of Senegal. We didn’t come for him at the base, we saw him in his corner, we talked to him and there, bam, you take the story in your head. You immediately feel the emotional fiber, a universe, a strong testimony. In Brittany, we found Julien. A guy who has 500 OM jerseys under his roof. You know that no matter what, it’s gonna work. But by talking to him, it takes on another dimension. I love the scene where he starts to make papinades in a field. She is pure, she brings us all back to our childhood.
You start the series with two amazing profiles, a star chef and an accountant. Who impressed you the most?
The broadcast order is not at all that of the shooting, it’s arbitrary. We wanted to start the series with the cook from the Intercontinental to show that we were going to do something different. We then come back to the more anticipated, unavoidable personalities. And we end with the strongest: Bacary in Senegal. This is the last one we shot, just before the Covid. You land on the spot, in the depths of Senegal, after a few WhatsApp exchanges. And there, you see someone with an impressive charisma, to whom OM has given strength to live, courage. His passion really carried him.
“Saint-Étienne and Lens approach it perhaps through their fervor, their loyalty, their passion. But OM is much more massive, it overflows, it pukes. »
Does that mean that this project was completed before the Covid? The wait must have been frustrating!
Yes. Post-production was finished right after the first lockdown. For reasons beyond our control, the series stayed warm for a long time in the drawers of OM who bought it from us. It reappears now, after a complicated season in the stands, it’s good to show these faces of supporterism. But it’s true that we were bubbling.
What life will this project have?
OM will first broadcast it on its app to subscribers, we are broadcasting it this Thursday in preview. We are working on secondary operations, and then OM will perhaps distribute it more widely afterwards. We want her to be seen as much as possible, of course. We thought of a short format, but not too much either. We could have done longer, except for one character. But to make it too short would have been to take the risk of a crowbar editing. It does not render the characters in the same way.
Would it be possible to decline it in another club?
(Silence.) She’s tough, that one… First of all, OM is one of the biggest fan base in volume and quality, active, passionate, with a rich history, with deep ramifications. In France, Saint-Étienne and Lens approach it perhaps through their fervor, their loyalty, their passion. But OM is much more massive, it overflows, it pukes. In Europe, we could extend with Dortmund, Liverpool, Naples, maybe Sevilla FC or hot places like that, or in England. The absolute dream would be Latin America, it’s almost religious there. And if we are offered to re-enlist on the second season of FadasI will go with both feet together.
“The Breton collector Julien, he cleans his frames with a fake Chinese PSG jersey. When he showed me this, I was dying of laughter. »
How do you explain the madness that surrounds this club?
Barça says to itself My than a clubMarseille is My only football. Normally, when you paint the portrait of strangers, there is a certain mistrust. There, you disembark, the doors open immediately. I’ve never seen that. People were so happy that we came to talk about it, it marked me a lot. They are warm-blooded Mediterraneans, yes, but with a lot of generosity, human warmth, a sense of sharing. We also often find in them deep ties with childhood, family and the social sphere. And then, what is brilliant and funny is that all the supporters without exception that I have seen, at one point, define themselves in relation to their relationship of love for OM, and hatred for PSG . The Breton collector Julien, he cleans his frames with a fake Chinese PSG jersey. When he showed me this, I was dying of laughter.
Why does OM spark so much creativity?
It is linked to everything we have just said. The question comes from all of this. There is an established, active community that makes OM in today’s social media era a highly conversational topic. And the human, documentary, editorial, historical material around the club is a dream. This story remains for the moment unique in France and in Europe. It is an inexhaustible material.
Interview by Adrien Hémard-Dohain