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Francoise Meaux Saint Marc

  • Comic books inspire French production frenzy


    It's not just in Hollywood - French producers are also working on a string of mega-budget, high-profile comic book adaptations.
  • Vivendi shares leap at rejection of billion dollar bid for entertainment assets


    Vivendi Universal has been approached with a Euros 15bn offer for its entertainment assets by a consortium of businessmen - including oil billionaire Marvin Davis (pictured), the former owner of Twentieth Century Fox - but is refusing to sell. As a result, Vivendi shares ended the day (Thursday) up 21.2% in Paris at Euros 13.8 - the largest single-day rise for the company in years.
  • Rezo Films to produce Rohmer's Triple Agent


    French distribution outfit Rezo Films is to produce Eric Rohmer's next film, Triple Agent. The Euros 4m film, which teams Rezo with Rohmer's own production outfit, C.E.R, will also mark the distribution outfit's first foray into the foreign sales sector.
  • Rezo Films to produce Rohmer's Triple Agent


    French distribution outfit Rezo Films is to produce Eric Rohmer's next film, Triple Agent. The Euros 4m film, which teams Rezo with Rohmer's own production outfit, C.E.R, will also mark the distribution outfit's first foray into the foreign sales sector.
  • France submits 8 Femmes for foreign-language Oscar


    Francois Ozon's 8 Femmes has been selected as France's submission for the best foreign-language film award at the Oscars.
  • Vivendi Universal to lay off half of Paris HQ staff


    Vivendi Universal is to slash staff at its Paris headquarters and other international offices in a bid to achieve savings of Euros140m in the coming year.
  • StudioCanal grabs Mars Films, gives Bac new hope


    StudioCanal is to throw Jean Labadie's Bac Majestic group a desperately-needed financial lifeline. But it will kill off the Bac Distribution joint venture and instead take theatrical releasing of its films in-house.
  • French loyalty cards plateau at 6% market share


    The market for France's various cinema loyalty card schemes has reached a plateau just two and a half years after their introduction.
  • Vivendi Universal outlines debt reduction strategy


    Vivendi Universal aims to reduce its debt by at least Euros12bn within 18 months through a drastic asset disposal plan which includes Canal Plus group's activities outside of France as well the sale of several non-core businesses.
  • CNC calls for urgent reform of production funding


    Expansion of the SOFICA tax schemes, additional regional funding and a restructuring of contributions from the video-DVD sectors could deliver an additional Euros80m-Euros100m to the French production sector.
  • Grimond parts company with Vivendi Universal


    Vincent Grimond has left Vivendi Universal, the latest in a line of senior French executives to part with the troubled media concern.Grimond, the former chairman and CEO of production and distribution division StudioCanal, moved over to Los Angeles in January 2001 following the Vivendi-Universal-Canal Plus tie-up under Jean-Marie Messier. With the title of senior executive VP at Universal Studio Group, he reported directly to Universal president Ron Meyer and was charged with ...
  • More French films attract fewer audiences


    A record 26 French titles were released on French screens during this summer's holiday season (July-August).
  • French backers grow wary of culture, bank on commerce


    Caution is the new buzzword in French film financing circles, with challenging fare such as the forthcoming Paris Je T'aime struggling to attract investors who increasingly favour big budget bankable hits.
  • French films could soon earn more abroad than at home


    After a record year in 2001, which saw the foreign box office take of French films nearly doubling to reach Euros 208m, 2002 is on its way to confirming the upward trend, according to French film export body Unifrance.
  • Film Office expands roles becomes Hachette Filipacchi Films


    Film Office, a subsidiary of Frenchmedia and publishing giant Hachette Filipacchi, which has been increasinglyboarding foreign feature film projects at an early stage in order to build upits library of theatrical rights, is now to develop its own titles.Theveteran French home video company, which has been a pioneer of all-rightsacquisitions for the French market since Basic Instinct, is to underlinethe move by changing its name ...
  • Vivendi Universal spins off streamlined Canal Plus


    Vivendi Universal is to re-structure its 100% subsidiary Groupe Canal Plus around the division's most valuable assets: its French broadcasting activities; its film production and rights holding division StudioCanal as well as its stake in Spanish broadcasting operation Sogecable. All will be folded back into Canal Plus SA, which is currently 49% owned by VU.
  • France's TF1, M6 jointly acquire 25% of TPS


    French private broadcasting groups TF1 and M6 have jointly acquired the 25% stake held by French utilities group Suez Lyonnaise in digital satellite platform Television Par Satellite (TPS).
  • New chief financial officer for Vivendi Universal


    Jacques Espinasse, previously CEO of the TF1-controlled digital satellite platform Television Par Satellite (TPS), has been named chief financial officer of beleaguered media and entertainment giant Vivendi Universal.
  • France's TF1, M6 team up for Canal Plus bid


    French private broadcasting groups TF1 and M6 are considering joining forces with Pathe in order to acquire Vivendi Universal's Canal Plus Group, a source 'close to the deal' told French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur.
  • France's Bac Majestic reveals the identity of its 'white knight'


    French distribution group Bac Majestic has revealed the name of its 'white knight': Belgian entrepreneur Michel Litwak and his company Fragum III, who will help turn around the beleaguered company.
  • Former Canal Plus boss Lescure to head Deauville jury


    Pierre Lescure former head of Vivendi Universal's pay-TV group Canal Plus, is to head the jury at the 2002 Deauville American film festival, to be held August 30-September 8.
  • French sales company President Films to be wound up


    French foreign sales outfit President Films is set to disappear as France Television Distribution, the film and television rights trading division of public broadcasters France 2, France 3 and France 5, restructures its activities.
  • France to end ban on TV advertising of films


    Just as a number of major international film distributors are beginning to seriously question the value of television advertising in the increasingly expensive movie marketing equation, France looks set to overturn its historic ban on advertising films on TV.
  • Teze confirmed as head of Miramax and TF1's TF/M Distribution


    TF1 has confirmed the appointment of Perrine Teze as head of TF/M Distribution, the French broadcaster's theatrical joint venture with Miramax.
  • VU's fifth board member exit leaves Messier on the brink


    Jean-Marie Messier has retained his position as chairman of the world's second-largest media group - despite the departure of the fifth board member this year and a temporary dive in Vivendi Universal share value to a 13-year low.
  • Perrine Teze to head Miramax/TF1 French distribution arm


    Perrine Teze, currently managing director of TF1's film financing and sales division TF1 International, is expected to be appointed managing director of the Miramax/TF1 joint French distribution venture.
  • New Marseilles studio to supply booming location demand


    In response to the soaring number of locations shoots in the region, the city of Marseilles is building a brand new film and television studio, thirty years after the closure of its last complex.
  • France's TF1 considers KirchMedia buy


    French broadcasting group TF1 is currently 'taking a look at' KirchMedia, the rights trading division of the collapsing Kirch empire, a TF1 representative told the French news service AFP.
  • New manager to oversee BAC Majestic restructure


    Alain Mamou-Mani has been named general manager of BAC Majestic and will oversee the financial restructuring of the beleaguered French distribution outfit.
  • IFC Films closes in on Sex Is Comedy for US


    IFC Films is in advanced negotiations to acquire Catherine Breillat's Sex Is Comedy, which opened this year's Directors' Fortnight sidebar at the Cannes Film Festival, for US theatrical release.
  • New Yorker takes US rights on Etre Et Avoir


    Dan Talbot's New Yorker has acquired US rights to Cannes title Etre Et Avoir, a documentary by Nicolas Philibert which was screened out of competition in the main selection.
  • France's TF1 to increase film production, financing activity


    Just as StudioCanal is scaling back its European film production and distribution operations, TF1 seems to be intent on increasing its activity and filling the void.
  • Sollet's Long Way finds US home


    Samuel Goldwyn and Fireworks have bagged Peter Sollet's Long Way Home ahead of its Un Certain Regard screening for their US joint distribution venture IDP.
  • Wild Bunch flies with Purple Butterfly


    StudioCanal division Wild Bunch is boarding Purple Butterfly, the next film by Suzhou River director Lou Ye, which will topline Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon's star Zhang Ziyi.
  • Binet and Covo tipped for TF1/Miramax jobs


    Patrick Binet, currently head of sales house UGC International, and France Jose Covo, former head of PolyGram, are expected to be appointed to senior positions within the unnamed new TF1-Miramax production and distribution venture.
  • Tonie Marshall revs up France Boutique


    Pyramide Productions's Fabienne Vonnier is in Cannes wrapping up financing for Tonie Marshall's next title France Boutique, which is to star Karin Viard and Francois Cluzet as a couple specialising in the production of TV home-shopping shows.
  • Wild Bunch set to cut loose


    Wild Bunch, one of the leading sellers of festival films at Cannes this year, is expected to loosen its ties with parent company StudioCanal.
  • France's CineTem busy acquiring for new film channels


    CineTem, the six film channels being launched by French group AB, will be up and running on Canal Plus' digital platform CanalSatellite and some cable networks from September 7.
  • Gaga takes Haynes' Far From Heaven


    Japan's Gaga has bagged Todd Haynes' forthcoming Far From Heaven, which stars Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid.
  • France's TF1 looks to enter Noe territory


    Miramax's new French partner TF1 is understood to be close to buying into Noe Productions, the company which despite having co-produced this year's foreign-language Oscar winner No Man's Land, was recently forced into receivership.
  • Studio Canal: minus to equal plus


    StudioCanal is to slash its production to just 15 films a year as part of a dramatic streamlining of operations. However, closing Vivendi Universal's European production and distribution arm is not on the agenda, insists chairman Richard Lenormand, despite rumours to the contrary.
  • France's Talentis moves into features


    Short film agency Talantis is branching out into feature films. The company has picked up all French rights on Winnego, a first film by US film-maker Nick James which is to star Salma Hayek and Mickey Rourke.
  • Rosem boards Day & Night


    Rosem Films has boarded Day & Night (Ri-Ri Ye-Ye), the second film by Chinese film-maker Wang Chao, whose first title, The Orphans Of Anyang, made a splash last year in Directors' Fortnight.
  • Mixed reactions greet Weinstein, Le Lay announcement


    While rivals saluted TF1 yesterday for its grand ambitions with Miramax welcoming a new competitor on the local theatrical distribution scene, there was also unease at the prospect of ever more films cluttering up French cinemas because of television's encroaching influence over cinema. Some even suggested that French regulators should have their own say.
  • Poire's Visual Factory readies $23m sci-fi comedy


    Jean-Marie Poire, creator and director of hit French franchise The Visitors, has started pre-production on his next opus, the $23m sci-fi comedy Damian And The Invaders (Damien Et Les Envahisseurs) through his own outfit, London-based sales and post-production company Visual Factory.
  • Mercure takes worldwide rights to Dix Sept Fois Cecille Cassard


    Mercure's Jacques Le Glou has picked up worldwide rights to the Beatrice Dalle-starrer Dix Sept Fois Cecile Cassard which is screening in Un Certain Regard.
  • France's Haut et Court readies Hitchcockian Bambi tale


    French production company Haut et Court is readying Fuis Bambi Fuis, a first directing effort by Gilles Marchand, the co-scriptwriter for both Laurent Cantet's Human Resources and Dominik Moll's With A Friend Like Harry.
  • France's Haut et Court readies Hitchcockian Bambi tale


    French production company Haut et Court is readying Fuis Bambi Fuis, a first directing effort by Gilles Marchand, the co-scriptwriter for both Laurent Cantet's Human Resources and Dominik Moll's With A Friend Like Harry.
  • UGC lures French talent for big budget slate


    UGC International has lured some of France's top film-making talent away from rival production houses in lining up a slate of big budget projects for Cannes - led by Ruby Et Quentin, a $25m action comedy starring Gerard Depardieu and Jean Reno, and directed by Francis Veber.
  • UGC lures French talent for big budget slate


    UGC International has lured some of France's top film-making talent away from rival production houses in lining up a slate of big budget projects for Cannes - led by Ruby Et Quentin, a $25m action comedy starring Gerard Depardieu and Jean Reno, and directed by Francis Veber.
  • Hollywood studios clamour for TF1's He Loves Me remake


    France's TF1 International is in advanced negotiations with Hollywood studios over English language remake rights to the Audrey Tautou-starrer He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (A La Folie, Pas Du Tout). Several US production outfits are lining up to buy, including frontrunner 20th Century Fox.
  • Hollywood studios clamour for TF1's He Loves Me remake


    France's TF1 International is in advanced negotiations with Hollywood studios over English language remake rights to the Audrey Tautou-starrer He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (A La Folie, Pas Du Tout). Several US production outfits are lining up to buy, including frontrunner 20th Century Fox.
  • Hollywood studios clamour for TF1's He Loves Me remake


    France's TF1 International is in advanced negotiations with Hollywood studios over English language remake rights to the Audrey Tautou-starrer He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (A La Folie, Pas Du Tout). Several US production outfits are lining up to buy, including frontrunner 20th Century Fox.
  • De Palma's Femme Fatale seduces French audiences


    Brian de Palma's latest feature, the French-US co-production Femme Fatale, recorded a healthy start on its world debut in France. The thriller, which has secured an eleventh-hour out-of-competition Cannes screening on May 25, sold 220,000 tickets (equivalent to $1.1m) in its opening week to May 7.
  • Ambiel resigns from Expand Images


    Dominique Ambiel, board chairman of Vivendi Universal's French television production division Expand Images, has resigned. His departure, over differences in the management of the company, was followed by board member Xavier Gouyou-Beauchamps.
  • Anouk Aimee to head Cannes' France Culture Prize jury


    French actress Anouk Aimée, who starred in Claude Lelouch's 1966 Acacdemy Award-winner A Man And A Woman, will chair the jury of the France Culture prize, to be awarded during the Cannes film festival.
  • Warner France increases investment in local comedies


    Warner Bros. Pictures France has signed an exclusive distribution deal with French production house Les Films Christian Fechner for four upcoming comedies.
  • Messier called to account for his actions by French TV watchdog


    Jean-Marie Messier will have to detail the half-year accounts of Canal Plus Group and French pay-TV channel Canal Plus, a 49% subsidiary of Vivendi Universal, to the CSA (Conseil Superieur de l'Audiovisuel), the French broadcasting industry watchdog.
  • Cannes' Camera d'Or jury announced


    The jury of Cannes' Camera d'Or, which was created 25 years ago by Gilles Jacob and is awarded to a first film selected either in the official competition or in the Un Certain Regard, Director's Fortnight and International Critics' Week sidebars, has been announced.
  • Cannes competition jury line-up announced


    A week ahead of the announcement of the Cannes film festival's official competition line-up, Gilles Jacob has announced the full jury, which this year is chaired by David Lynch.
  • David Lynch joins condemnations of Lescure's removal


    Condemnations of Jean-Marie Messier's decision to sack Pierre Lescure were coming from as far away as Hollywood yesterday, with Cannes jury president David Lynch calling the move scandalous.
  • Messier forces Lescure's resignation from Canal Plus


    Amid French press reports that his own future is at risk, Vivendi Universal chairman Jean-Marie Messier has announced that Pierre Lescure, head of the company's pay-TV group Canal Plus, is stepping down from his post.
  • Xilam buys into French animated pic Kaena


    French animation production house Xilam has acquired the rights to fully computer-animated feature film Kaena -- co-financed and handled worldwide by StudioCanal -- following the bankrupcy of the original producer, Chaman Production.
  • Labadie, Chiche establish Wild Side video label


    French film group Bac Films has launched its first two home video titles - Scary Movie 2 and Spy Kids - on the rental market through its recently created home video company, Wild Side Video.
  • France asks CNC's Kessler to define reality


    French minister of culture Catherine Tasca has asked David Kessler, who heads TV and film support body CNC, to lead discussions aimed at determining what constitutes an "audiovisual work."
  • French film production volume jumps, so do budgets


    A new record in French film production was set last year, with the total number of titles, including French co-productions. reaching 204. That is 33 higher than in 2000, says the French film body CNC, which does not count films in which it has not invested.
  • Vivendi Universal posts Euros 13.6bn net loss


    Vivendi Universal posted a Euros 13.6bn net loss in 2001, due to a massive Euros 15.2bn goodwill write down, the result of a raft of expensive acquisitions. However, the group has met its operational targets for its media and communications division.
  • Beart, and Ardant to co-star in Nathalie Ribout


    Emmanuelle Beart and Fanny Ardant, currently together on the French screens in Francois Ozon's musical whodunit 8 Femmes, are to co-star in Nathalie Ribout, the next film by Anne Fontaine.
  • Adjani replaces Marceau for Bon Voyage


    Isabelle Adjani is to replace a pregnant Sophie Marceau as the female lead in the much-awaited Bon Voyage, Jean-Paul Rappeneau's first film after the 1995 Horseman On The Roof.
  • French industry unites over TV regulation concerns


    French broadcasting group AB has denied accusations of intending to avoid the national content quota and other broadcasting regulations by transmitting its planned new movie channels from Luxembourg.
  • Cannes to subsidise festival attendees


    The Cannes film festival is to subsidise the attendance of more than fifty young French film-makers at this year's festival, with the initiative expanding to include European film-makers next year.
  • Ocean's Eleven tries to bag some French box office


  • Vivendi Universal reports 10% revenues rise


    Vivendi Universal has announced a better-than-expected 10% rise in revenues for 2001, to Euros 57.4bn, and is expecting a further 10% increase in 2002.
  • Bollore takes 7% stake in France's Gaumont


    French investment group Bollore has acquired a 7% stake in French film group Gaumont, the value of which has not been disclosed.
  • Asterix breaks French 5-day opening record


  • French Cesar nominations hail Amelie


    With 13 nominations, including best film, best director for Jean-Pierre Jeunet and best actress for Audrey Tautou, Amelie leads the race for the 27th Cesar Awards, the French equivalent of the Academy Awards, to be presented on March 2.
  • Canal Plus' film channel to get facelift


    In an effort to boost lagging subscriptions, the Canal Plus group is to reshuffle the top management of its eponymous French movie channel.
  • Asterix 2 has near-record French opening


  • 101 Reykjavik director heads to Flach Pyramide


    French foreign sales house Flach Pyramide International has acquired The Sea, by 101 Reykjavik director Baltasar Kormakur.
  • Gala takes UK rights to African L'Afrance


    UK indie distributor Gala has acquired UK rights to Sundance title L'Afrance, an African film which will next be seen in Rotterdam and is handled worldwide by Mercure Distribution's Jacques Le Glou.
  • Paris screenings confirm upbeat French industry


    The selection of new titles on view at Unifrance's fourth Paris screenings, held January 11-15, reflected the upbeat mood currently being enjoyed by the French film industry, not just at home, but increasingly abroad.
  • Unifrance's Paris screenings in bullish mood


    Unifrance's fourth Paris screenings (Rendez-Vous Europeen du Film Francais) to be held January 11-15, will kick off in an upbeat mood as the French-language cinema foreign box-office has more than doubled up in 2001.
  • French production & exhibition enjoy record 2001


    2001 has been a record-breaking year for both the French production and exhibition sectors, with local titles attracting a hefty 41% (up from 28.5% in 2000) of the 185 million tickets (up 11.4%) sold last year, according to the latest CNC estimates, the highest attendance figure since 1984.
  • France's TFI boosts stake in loss-making TPS


    Leading French broadcaster TF1 has acquired France Television's and France Telecom's 25% stake in Television Par Satellite (TPS) for Euros 195m.
  • Lescure rejects accusations of sell-out


    "The French film industry is healthy if Canal Plus is healthy," said Canal Plus chief Pierre Lescure yesterday in response to charges that Vivendi Universal is becoming American dominated. "Its health will be better through the acquisition of USA Networks."
  • French loyalty cards boost an upward trend


    The first in-depth report on the effect of France's controversial cinema loyalty passes, introduced in March 2000, reveals that card-holders are on the increase in the country, giving benefits to both exhibitors and distributors.P
  • Jacques Tati to be feted at 55th Cannes festival


    A special tribute to Jacques Tati, on the 20th anniversary of his death, which will include public, open-air screenings of two of his most popular films, will be part of next year's 55th Cannes film festival, to be held May 15-26.
  • French film production on track for record year


    French film production has reached a massive 162 titles during 2001 (compared to 150 last year), and will top a record 200, including films in which French partners are minority co-producers (against 171 last year) according to the CNC (Centre National de la Cinematographie).
  • Libermann picked to head France Television Dist


    Michel Libermann is to become CEO of France Television Distribution (FTD), the film and television rights trading arm of public broadcaster France Television, which includes international sales house President Films.
  • Canadians, Koreans check into Officers Ward


    Mercure Distribution has sold Canadian rights to Cannes competition title The Officers' Ward (La Chambre Des Officiers) to Christal Films Distribution. With Cinema bagged South Korean rights.
  • Intimacy wins prestigious Louis Delluc honour


    Patrice Chereau's Intimacy, has been awarded the Louis Delluc prize. The film, adapted from a novel by Hanif Kureishi and Chereau's first English-language title, has already won Berlin's Golden Bear as well as a Silver Bear for female lead Kerry Fox and was lately nominated for the European Films Awards.
  • French music house XIII Bis launches into pictures


    XIII Bis Organisation, a leading French independent music group, is making its first foray into the film business, with Anima, a fantasy thriller written and to be directed by in-house artist and composer Christophe Pascal.
  • Harry Potter begins lucrative spell in France


    With a massive 475,000 tickets sold in France on its opening day (Dec 5), Harry Potter has become the second biggest opener of 2001 - behind another Warner release, French comedy La Verite Si Je Mens 2 (503,000 admissions) - and the eighth all-time biggest opener.
  • Breillat's Scenes Intimes pre-sold before finished


    Catherine Breillat's latest project, Scenes Intimes, which started shooting on Nov 19, has already attracted the attention of foreign distributors on the strength of the successes of Romance and A Ma Soeur! (Fat Girl).
  • Bac sells Paris cinemas to French heiress


    French distributor/exhibitor Bac Majestic (which handles both Miramax and StudioCanal titles) has sold its five Paris cinemas to Sophie Dulac (a French heiress who is partnering with arthouse exhibitor Jean Henochsberg, of Cine Classic) for a reported $5m.
  • Varda completes first of 20 Paris Je T'Aime shorts


    French film-maker Agnes Varda (The Gleaners) has completed shooting The Flighty Lion, the first in a series of twenty shorts uniting directors such as Jean-Luc Godard, Tom Tykwer and Woody Allen.
  • France's film marketing costs set to soar


    France's audiovisual watchdog CSA (Conseil Superieur de l'Audiovisuel) has recommended a partial lift of the current ban on advertising films on television - a move set to radically shake up the French distribution sector.
  • Thym launches Luxembourg production company


    Heinz Thym, formerly head of film co-productions and acquisitions for CLT Ufa International is setting up a Luxembourg film production company, T Films.
  • The Pretender delayed by legal dispute


    The shooting of The Pretender, Gilles Mimouni's next film after 1996 L'Appartement, is to be delayed until March 2002.
  • France has big appetite for American Pie 2


  • Besson's Europa in major output & facilities deal


    Vivendi Universal and Canal Plus have signed a three-year, ten picture deal with Luc Besson's company Europa Corp. The partnership also includes the use by Universal Music and Universal Studios of Besson's own high-tech facilities Digital Factory.
  • Local films eroding US marketshare in France


    French films, which have been performing consistently well in their home territory since the beginning of the year, have wrestled US titles' normally dominant marketshare down to 49% (compared with 62% last year) in the first nine months of 2001,
  • Bridget Jones's Diary is the talk of Paris


  • Euromedia & Bollore buy French SFP studios


    French state-owned studios and facilities group Societe Francaise de Production (SFP), which has been drowning in red ink for decades, has been acquired for $4.2m (Ffr30m) by Euromedia Television facilities house in partnership with Bollore Investissement.
  • Distrib newcomer ThinkFilm calls Time Out for US


    ThinkFilm, the fledgling North American distributor that was set up recently by a team of former Lions Gate executives, has acquired US rights to Venice-winning French title L'Emploi Du Temps (Time Out), the second feature film by Human Resources director Laurent Cantet.
  • Bonduel to head Pathe distribution and sales arms


    Marc Bonduel, formerly CEO of France Television Distribution/President Films, has joined Pathe, where he will head both the French film distribution arm Pathe Distribution and international sales outfit Pathe International.
  • France's Expand reports first half losses


    French television production powerhouse Expand, a subsidiary of Vivendi Universal, has announced a Euros 4.5m loss for the first half of 2001, compared to a Euros 1.8m net profit in the same period last year.
  • Clouzot commits to Cannes Critics Week reforms


    In Claire Clouzot, the Cannes Critics Week has appointed a new head who has vowed to continue the reforms of her predecessor Jose Maria Riba. Riba quit in a storm of dissent and his departure was followed by the exit of other leading members.
  • Vidocq tops French chart after slow start


    After a slow start, UGC high-tech period/fantasy title Vidocq has attracted over 740,000 admissions in its first five days, topping the French charts at Sept 23
  • French films see 40% leap in foreign revenues


    Foreign theatrical revenues for French-language films has leapt 40% during the first seven months of 2001 compared to the same period last year.
  • France's new TPS Star challenges Canal Plus


    Television Par Satellite (TPS) the French digital satellite operator which is a rival to Vivendi Universal's CanalSatellite, is taking on Canal Plus, the French pay-TV channel, with the launch of a 'premium' channel, TPS Star, which will concentrate on film and soccer programming.
  • France's TF1 expects 2001 to see ad sales dive


    TF1 is expecting its full year advertising sales to drop by up to 5% in 2001, with its net profits sliding up to 10% compared to last year.
  • French box office heads for vintage year


    2001 is looking likely to become a vintage year for the French cinema sector. Since January 1, admissions in the territory have reached 122 million, a 9.9% increase on the same period last year.
  • French TV sales get boost from feature films


    Foreign sales of French television programmes leapt by 13.4% last year to reach $117.2m (Ffr848m), according to a survey commissioned by French exporters' association TV France International.
  • French TPS and CanalSatellite merger mooted


    Following the resignation of TF1's chairman Patrick Le Lay from his position as chairman of French digital satellite service TPS, a potential merger or at least an alliance between TPS and Canal Plus-rival service CanalSatellite no longer seems so far-fetched.
  • StudioCanal secures control of TV producer Expand


    Vivendi Universal's European film and television arm StudioCanal now owns a controlling 52.1% stake in French television production powerhouse Expand, after the first round of a take-over bid which closed last week.
  • French pay-TV operator AB de-listed from NYSE


    French pay-tv operator AB Groupe is to be de-listed from the New York Stock Exchange.
  • StudioCanal sees film boost half-year revenues


    Vivendi Universal's European film and television production and distribution subsidiary StudioCanal has posted a 20.3% hike in revenues for the first half of 2001, mostly due to revenues from new films, which grew by 51% compared to the same period last year.
  • Bac Majestic sees first half revenues jump 21.2%


    Bac Majestic has seen its 2001 first-half revenues jump 21.2% to Euros 39.7m. This is good news for the French distributor and exhibitor which was floated on the French equivalent to the Nasdaq a year ago and has seen its shares dip 80% since then.
  • Irreversible re-teams Bellucci and Cassel


    Real-life couple Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel, lately seen in French film-maker Christophe Gans' hit title Brotherhood Of The Wolf, are joined again in Gaspard Noe's Irreversible, which started shooting at the end of July.
  • Deauville announces additional titles


    Joel Coen's The Man Who Wasn't There, toplining Billy Bob Thornton and Frances McDormand and Woody Allen's The Curse Of The Jade Scorpion, featuring Dan Aykroyd, Helen Hunt and Charlize Theron are among a raft of titles which have been added to Deauville's 2001 line-up.
  • France favours Evolution over Kids


    French cinema-goers have once again demonstrated their cultural distance from their American counterparts by embracing Columbia TriStar's Evolution, according it a certain 'je ne sais quoi' that its domestic audience failed to appreciate
  • France re-instates 18 certificate


    A year after the furore about censorship and freedom of expression provoked by Baise-Moi, French culture minister Catherine Tasca has reinstated the 18 certificate in France. The controversial rape film is now also looking set for a UK release.
  • Warner grabs French comedy from Gaumont


    Warner Bros' French division is to produce Ma Femme S'appelle Maurice, the next film by French comedy specialist Jean-Marie Poire (The Visitors). The $13m (Ffr100m) title, which is also to be backed by Germany's Babelsberg Studios, Canal Plus and French public broadcaster France Television, starts shooting on July 23 in Paris
  • France's TF1 sees revenues rise


    Leading French terrestrial broadcaster TF1 has announced a nine per-cent increase in its revenues for the first half of 2001, largely due to the consolidation of cable and satellite channels Eurosport International, TV Sport and Series Club and production company Telema.
  • Deauville's Avant-Premieres have French flavour


    In a departure from its usual cluster of major US studio films, a record half of the titles in Deauville's prestigious 'Avant-Premieres' selection are handled by French independent distributors, giving the American film festival a more auteurish twist.
  • French cinema festival has little to celebrate


    Lara Croft was the main beneficiary of the annual French promotional event La Fete du Cinema, which suffered this year from a combination of hot weather, a lack of strong titles and a strike by Gaumont cinemas' staff.
  • StudioCanal is subsumed within Universal Pictures


    Europe's StudioCanal is set to lose its independence by being delisted from the Paris stock exchange and then folded into Universal Pictures, its stable-mate within the VivendiUniversal empire. The integration comes less than 15 months after StudioCanal was first floated on the bourse as a standalone force in international production and distribution.
  • Tomb Raider set for top spot at French box office


    With over 221,000 tickets sold on its first day on release (June 27) in France, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider looks set to kick Pearl Harbor off the top slot at the French box office in its first week. Tomb Raider is the fourth biggest opener in France since the beginning of the year.
  • French theatrical subsidies law extended


    The French government has amended the law which limits financial support to smaller theatres in order to allow larger exhibitors to benefit from the same subsidies.
  • Buyers emerge for French studios group SFP


    Two potential buyers - Daniel Lebard Management Development and facilities house Euromedia Television with Bollore Investissement - have emerged for ailing French state-owned studios and facilities group Societe Francaise de Production (SFP).
  • French TV cuts back on number of films aired


    French terrestrial TV channels have cut back the number of feature films broadcast per year, airing 49 fewer titles last year than in 1999. This includes 31 fewer films broadcast in primetime, for a total of less than 800 films.
  • Gershon, Nielsen, Sevigny to star in Demonlover


  • France's Le Sabre readies English-language slate


    French high-end TV production outfit Le Sabre is preparing four English-language film projects, including Cheri, to star Jessica Lange, and a $16m ice age epic The Mammoth Hunters. The company is part of the Expand group, which has just been taken over by StudioCanal (see Screendaily, June 18).
  • StudioCanal to take over TV powerhouse Expand


    As expected, Vivendi Universal's StudioCanal is to take over Expand, the television production powerhouse born in February 2000 of the merger Canal Plus' television production and distribution affiliate Ellipse Programmes and French television production group Expand.
  • RTL sells distributor SND to France's M6


    Pan-European media giant RTL Group has sold its French distribution offshoot SND to French broadcaster M6, in which the Luxembourg-based group already holds a major stake.
  • Canal Plus confirms 200-plus jobs to go in France


    Canal Plus has confirmed that it is to cut 217 jobs in France. The pay-TV operator, which is 49% owned by Vivendi Universal, said that it is restructuring its programming output in order to compensate for rising costs in its film and sports divisions.
  • French films smash records with 54% market share


    French films have carved out a massive 54% local market share in the first five months of 2001, according to new data released by the Centre National de la Cinematographie (CNC).
  • FTD takes all French rights to 29 Palms


    FTD Entreprises, a division of France Television Distribution (FTD), the film and television rights trading arm of French public broadcaster France Television, has acquired all French rights (theatrical, television and home video) to Alliance Atlantis' 29 Palms. This underscores FTD's commitment to aggressively strengthening its international film sales and French and foreign rights trading activities.
  • TF1 picks up Pearl, signs deal with local producer


    TF1 has acquired free-TV rights to Disney's Pearl Harbor, which the French broadcaster will show from autumn 2004.
  • Closet, booming exhibition lift Gaumont Q1 figures


    Beleaguered French major Gaumont has seen its sales jump 44% for the first quarter of 2001. This comes as a welcome reprieve for the company, which saw revenues drop 50% in the last quarter of 2000 and 15% for the full year, mostly due to the dismal box office performance of two of its big titles, Vatel and Just Visiting (Les Visiteurs En Amerique).
  • Wild Bunch unveils brand new slate for 2001-2002


    Wild Bunch - which is handling a record ten titles in selection in Cannes this year - has boarded a raft of new French and foreign projects.
  • Maya sparks Indian controversy at Cannes


    Cannes market title Maya - which deals with the sensitive subject of young girls raped by village priests as a coming-of-age ritual in certain regions of India - sparked a lot of interest from buyers when it screened on May 12.
  • M6 to buy French distributor SND from RTL Group


    M6, the French broadcaster which has been quietly been acquiring all French rights to films such as Martin Scorsese's mega budget Gangs of News York, is in the process of taking control of its theatrical distribution operation with the purchase of RTL Group's SND.
  • Miramax may remake Besson-produced Weekend Break


    Having bought just about everything this year, Miramax Films is now out to remake just about everything. The Weinstein powerhouse is negotiating remake rights for 15 Aout (Weekend Break), a three men and some children tale reminiscent of one of the most succesful re-makes ever - Trois Homme Et Un Couffin (otherwise known as Three Men And A Baby).
  • Hurt joins Deneuve on trip to Marshall's Heaven


    William Hurt is to co-star with Catherine Deneuve in Au Plus Pres du Paradis (Nearest To Heaven), the next film by award-winning French director Tonie Marshall.
  • Celluloid adds Quinzaine title Lan Yu to slate


    Celluloid Dreams has picked up sales right on Directors' Fortnight title Lan Yu, by Hong Kong film-maker Stanley Kwan (The Island Tales). The pick-up takes Celluloid's haul of Cannes festival this year to an astonishing eleven.
  • Kids of Kids prepare for Marathon


    French TV production and distribution house Marathon International is producing its second feature film, Ken Park, the directorial debut of Ed Lachman, the cinematographer on Erin Brokovich. Lachman will co-direct with Kids director Larry Clark.
  • Warner boards most expensive French film of 2001


    Hoping to emulate this year's blockbuster success of La Verite 2, Warner Bros has boarded another potential French hit, Le Boulet (Dead Weight) .
  • Besson's Europa wins Hellman distrib contract


    Philippe Hellman's specialist acquisitions and production outfit UGC Ph has struck an output deal with Luc Besson's new company Europa Corp, to handle French theatrical distribution.
  • Telepiu-Stream set to merge today


    Jean-Marie Messier and Rupert Murdoch are today expected to announce that Vivendi Universal will have two-thirds of a new joint venture in Italian pay-TV.
  • Five out of five for Club Des Cinq


    Coincidence or moral victory' The five French films in Official Selection at this year's Cannes festival are all set to be distributed locally by members of The Club Of Five (Le Club Des Cinq). This is a new lobby group formed by independent distributors which recently split from the two main distributors' federations.
  • Woo's Windtalkers snapped up for France and Italy


    President Films, the film sales division of France Television Distribution, and Italy's RAI Cinema have pre-bought all French and Italian rights (including pay-TV) to MGM's Windtalkers. The film is directed by John Woo and stars Nicolas Cage and Christian Slater and is currently in post-production.
  • Branagh plays Russian Czar in star-heavy Napoleon


    Kenneth Branagh will join the already stellar cast of the Ffr250m French mini-series Napoleon, an English-language co-production which unites seven countries and will start shooting May 21.
  • Critics Week favours tough eclectic mix


    Ken Loach's 1969 film Kes - which is to be given a special screening - will be the token British film in a wide-ranging Critics Week line-up which includes no other English-language title.
  • Exorcist beats Star Wars re-release in France


    Warner Bros' director's cut of The Exorcist turned heads in France on its release, beating the Star Wars re-release with a massive 131,387 admissions from 440 prints on its opening day.
  • France's M6 sees net earnings leap 34%


    M6, France's second-largest free-to-air broadcaster after TF1, has registered a 34% jump in its net earnings in 2000, to Euros 103.5m from Euros 77.3m in 1999, due to improved advertising sales.
  • Luhrmann's Can-Can opens Cannes


    Baz Luhrmann's musical Moulin Rouge will open the Cannes Film Festival on May 9th where it will screen in competition, festival president Gilles Jacob confirmed on Tuesday.
  • Canal Plus denies sale of Expand stake to RTL


    An unsubstantiated report in French newspaper Le Figaro suggesting that Canal Plus is about to sell a stake in Expand, a leading French television production outfit, to Luxembourg's RTL Group has prompted vehement denials.
  • French film production dips; investment soars


    Although the number of French films produced last year decreased by a slight 3.3% from 1999's level, total investment in French films rose by 16% to $636m (Ffr 4.5bn) with a record seven titles (six of them period pieces) breaking the $14m (Ffr100m) budget mark - compared with just two in 1999.
  • Vivendi Universal posts 60% rise in profit


    Vivendi Universal - which has seen its net income jump 60%, to Euros 2.3bn, and revenues rise 37% to Euros 41.8bn in 2000 - will meet its aggressive growth and synergy targets in 2001 and 2002 according to chairman Jean-Marie Messier.
  • Canal Plus claims bouyant financial health


    The Canal Plus group (which now includes Universal Studios) is expecting a substantial rise in its operating and net earnings as well as its subscription base in 2001.
  • French films stimulate box office tills


    Cinema attendance jumped 42% in France in February to reach 25 million admissions (compared to 17.5 million in February 2000), the highest level in 20 years.
  • Canal Plus Group adds Sutman


    Former Universal Studios' Bill Sutman has been appointed executive vice president, finance at the Canal Plus group, becoming the first US executive to cross the Atlantic as part of the reshuffling of the top management of Vivendi Universal's film and television division.
  • Stand By wins Cyril Collard prize


    Roch Stephanik has been awarded the Cyril Collard prize for his first feature film, Stand By, which also recently won a Best actress Cesar award for its lead, Dominique Blanc.
  • TF1 broadcasts stunning figures


    TF1, France largest free-TV broadcaster, has announced a 58% jump in net earnings for 2000 and remains optimistic for 2001, in spite of a predicted downturn in advertising expenditures this year.
  • Cinema loyalty pass hits French market shares


    French exhibitor Gaumont, severely hit by a slump in cinema ticket sales following the launch of UGC's cinema loyalty pass in March 2000, has seen its revenues slide 15% to $215m in 2000, despite launching its own pass last September, in partnership with Paris exhibitor MK2.
  • France's La Verite 2 continues record-breaking run


    French comedy La Verite 2 is on its way to becoming Warner Bros France's biggest ever hit after selling 2.83 million tickets in seven days (Feb 7-13), second only to historical record holder Taxi 2, which clocked up 3.48 million admissions in its first week.
  • Canal Plus Polska signs output deal with Kinowelt


    Germany's Kinowelt International and Canal Plus Polska have signed a three-year agreement which gives Canal Plus' Polish pay-TV offshoot exclusive broadcast rights to all New Line Cinema titles.
  • Pathe, TF1 end merger talks


    French broadcaster TF1 has ended its talks with film major Pathe, aimed at merging the two groups' interests in the areas of movie management, acquisition and sales, reportedly because of conflict between TF1 chairman Patrick Le Lay and Pathe's Jerome Seydoux.
  • Liv Ullmann to replace Jodie Foster at Cannes


    Norwegian actress and director Liv Ullmann will head the jury of the 2001 Cannes film festival, replacing Jodie Foster who pulled out to take the lead role in David Fincher's The Panic Room.
  • Verite opening is second biggest in French history


    Warner Bros' French outpost has scored its best opening day ever with a local film, La Verite Si Je Mens 2: La Grande Distribution, which has also become the second biggest opener in French box office history, with 503,582 tickets sold on February 7.
  • Brotherhood is a hit but no record breaker


  • TF1 takes 100% control of Eurosport


    Leading French broadcaster TF1 - which recently reported a 57.8% jump in its net revenues for 2000 - has acquired Canal Plus' and Havas Images' stake in the Eurosport group, which it now owns 100%.
  • StudioCanal starts process to up share of Expand


    France's StudioCanal has started a procedure to exercise its right to take a controlling stake in leading French television production and distribution group, Expand.
  • Harry, Le Gout Des Autres lead race for Cesars


    Two sleeper hits - Harry, He's Here To Help (Harry, Un Ami Qui Vous Veux Du Bien) and Le Gout Des Autres - dominated the nominations for this year's Cesar awards, with nine nods apiece.
  • TF1 racks up sales on Ruiz, Chatilliez titles


    French sales outfit TF1 International has sold Raoul Ruiz's Venice title La Comedie De L'Innocence, starring Isabelle Huppert and Charles Berling, to the UK's Artificial Eye, and pre-sold Etienne Chatilliez's latest comedy Tanguy to Germany's Prokino.
  • France passes loyalty card legislation


    The French Parliament has endorsed the country's controversial loyalty card scheme by passing a set of regulatory guidelines that has met the approval of the various film industry lobbies.
  • Malkovich to star in Lelouch's next project


    John Malkovich has joined the cast of Claude Lelouch's next film, And Now Ladies And Gentlemen (aka T For Thriller), which will also mark the big-screen debut of French singer Patricia Kass.
  • Jodie Foster heads Cannes jury for 54th edition


    Jodie Foster will head the jury at this year's Cannes Film Festival, which runs May 9-20.
  • French films slide to less than 30% market share


    French cinema's national pride took a dent last year as local films' box office share dipped under the symbolic 30% mark.
  • StudioCanal, RAI confirm Italian partnership


    France's StudioCanal has finalised the long sought after Italian link in its European theatrical distribution chain, unveiling a partnership with RAI Cinema, the start-up film arm of public broadcaster RAI.
  • Gaumont, Pathe merge exhibition interests


    French film groups Gaumont and Pathe - headed respectively by brothers Nicolas and Jerome Seydoux - are forming a joint venture to house their exhibition interests, EuroPalaces, which will be 66% owned by Pathe and 34% by Gaumont.
  • Chabrol awarded France's Prix Louis-Delluc


    Claude Chabrol's latest opus Nightcap (Merci Pour Le Chocolat) has won France's coveted Prix Louis-Delluc, while Laurent Cantet's Sundance title Human Resources has been awarded the Louis-Delluc prize for a first film.
  • Investors warm to Vivendi Universal


    After a 1.6% fall on their first day of trading mostly due to technical arbitrages, Vivendi Universal shares livened up a flat French stock market on Tuesday (Dec 12), opening at Euros75.25, for a 1.69% gain.
  • French broadcast quotas not affected by EU Treaty


    France managed to hold on to its broadcast quotas in the Nice Treaty finally signed by the 15 member states of the European Union on Monday (Dec 11).
  • Canal shareholders back birth of Vivendi Universal


    The final pieces of financing have fallen into place on Thomas Vinterberg's eagerly-awaited new project It's All About Love, his first since acclaimed Dogme title The Celebration, with France's Slot Machine and Sweden's Memfis Film boarding as co-producers, and Japan's Shochiku pre-buying Japanese rights.
  • Vivendi, Seagram shareholders rubberstamp merger


    A cheering crowd of 10,000 Vivendi shareholders, gathered beneath the pyramid at the Louvre museum in Paris, approved the company's three-way merger with Universal Studios owner Seagram and Canal Plus by a massive 95%. Seagram's shareholders had previously voted the merger by a 90.4% majority.
  • TPS losses to amount to $502m at year-end


    French digital pay-TV platform Television Par Satellite (TPS) has announced that it has reached the one million subscribers mark, but that it will also have accumulated losses of $502m (FFr3.7bn) by the end of this year.
  • Canal Plus delays shareholder vote on merger


    France's Canal Plus has postponed a shareholder vote on its three-way merger with Vivendi and Seagram for three days from December 5 to 8, for "technical reasons". Vivendi and Seagram will still hold their shareholder meetings as planned on December 5.
  • TF1, Pathe discuss merging film divisions


    Leading French broadcaster TF1 and film group Pathe are in talks to merge part of their film activities, in a move that is seen as a response to rival Canal Plus' strength in the film rights arena, and its impending merger with Vivendi and Universal Studios.
  • De Hadeln answers critics at Strasbourg Forum


    Moritz de Hadeln, outgoing Berlin International Film Festival chief, rebuffed criticism that Germany's leading film event has become dominated by US films as he picked up a tribute award for services to European cinema at the European Film Forum of Strasbourg (November 9-14).
  • Vivendi Communication rings up 70% growth


    Ahead of its merger with Seagram and Canal Plus, French media and utilities giant Vivendi has reported a 70% hike in sales at its media and phone unit - Vivendi Communication - to Euros9.4bn, in the first nine months of 2000.
  • Billy Elliot provokes outcry with Strasbourg win


    UK hit Billy Elliot sparked controversy at the European Film Forum of Strasbourg after it won the pan-European distribution support prize despite already being guaranteed a wide European release by powerhouse distributor UIP.
  • Don Quixote tilts towards insurance nightmare


    Terry Gilliam's $32m The Man Who Killed Don Quixote looks set to become one of European cinema's most costly insurance cases, now that some insurers have decided to no longer cover the troubled production.
  • StudioCanal cinema revenues up 91%


    StudioCanal has reported that turnover from cinema-related activities increased by 90.5% in the nine months to September 31 to Euros236.6m, compared to Euros124.2m during the same period last year.
  • Houston's Angel takes flight with Noe


    French production company Noe Productions is developing an adaptation of Canadian novelist Nancy Houston's The Mark Of The Angel, set to star French actress Elsa Zylberstein, who optioned the novel.
  • Billy Elliot nominated for European Cinema award


    Stephen Daldry's Billy Elliot is one of 15 European titles competing for a $130,000 (FFr1m) prize at the 5th edition of the Forum of European Cinema to be held November 9-14 in Strasbourg.
  • CNC slaps fine on UGC over loyalty pass


    French film industry watchdog, the CNC, has fined UGC $198,000 (FFr1.5m) because the exhibitors' controversial loyalty card scheme breaches its regulatory code.
  • Bac desires Wenders, plans DVD release


    French distributor-exhibitor Bac Majestic has acquired all French rights to selected Wim Wenders titles from the German film-maker's own production company Road Movies. Bac, which plans to release the titles on DVD during 2001, is also in talks to acquire Wenders' Paris Texas and Wings Of Desire from the French co-producer of those titles, Argos Films.
  • Marquet to take strategic role at StudioCanal


    Daniel Marquet, one of the most familiar faces at film markets, is to take a new role within the ever-changing StudioCanal group. From January he becomes head of corporate development (directeur delegue au developpement). A strategic role, answerable to StudioCanal principals Vincent Grimond and Michel Schmidt, he will be responsible for building out the studio structure across Europe.
  • Deneuve leads Chatiliez latest for TF1


    Catherine Deneuve will star in Etienne Chatiliez's next film, an as-yet-untitled project produced by France's Telema and handled worldwide by TF1 International.
  • CanalSatellite hits 1.5 million subscribers mark


    Canal Plus' French digital satellite platform CanalSatellite has reached the 1.5 million subscribers mark, and claims to be the first European digital satellite platform to show a profit.
  • Bac-Cryo tie-up bears fruit with Scary web-site


    French distributor Bac Films has launched a fully interactive 3D web-site for Scary Movie, marking the first tangible result of its link-up with video game specialist Cryo Interactive.
  • Cannes sets up Residence for new talent


    The Cannes film festival has opened a film-making facility, "Residence", which will be made available to a selection of young film-makers from around the world.
  • EU greenlights Vivendi Universal with conditions


    The European Commission (EC) has waved through the three-way merger between Vivendi, Canal Plus and Seagram, after Vivendi agreed to sell its 20% stake in BSkyB and guaranteed that Canal Plus' pay-TV competitors will have access to Universal's film product.
  • Crimson Rivers floods French box office


  • Vivendi Universal fights for EU greenlight


    Vivendi is reportedly considering concessions including selling its 20% stake in BSkyB in order to prevent the European Commission from launching a four-month investigation into its three-way merger with Canal Plus and Seagram.
  • French admissions on course for record high


    Cinema attendance in France is expected to reach a record high in 2000, according to film body the Centre National de la Cinematographie (CNC), partly because of the success of exhibitors' loyalty card schemes.
  • Messier denies rumours of rift with Lescure


    Vivendi chairman Jean-Marie Messier has officially denied rumours of a rift with Canal Plus boss Pierre Lescure which he described in a televised interview as 'a storm in a glass of water'.
  • MIPCOM: Universal pacts with SBS, TV3


    Universal Studios International has entered into multi-year output agreements with both the Dutch arm of broadcasting giant SBS and Swiss channel TV3.
  • WAMC set to animate Stephen King's Dragon


    Los Angeles-based financing outfit WAMC Entertainment, headed by Frenchman Sidonie Herman, has optioned Stephen King's novel The Eyes Of The Dragon, which it plans to adapt as a $45m animated feature.
  • MIPCOM: TV-Loonland acquires Sony Wonder


    German animation group TV-Loonland has bought the television production and distribution assets of Sony Wonder - a division of Sony Music Entertainment specialising in children's and family programming - and its subsidiary Sunbow Entertainment for $20.5m.
  • MIPCOM: Video Networks secures BBC product


    UK video-on-demand operator Video Networks has signed an output deal with BBC Worldwide under which it gains access to hundreds of hours of programming, shortly after its has aired on BBC1 and BBC2.
  • Canal Plus moves into profit after assets sale


    Canal Plus has reported first-half net profit of Euros104m - compared to a Euros36m loss during the same period last year - mostly due to a Euros205m one-time gain from the sale of its 24.9% stake in German channel Vox and a 4% stake in CanalSatellite.
  • Wild Bunch picks up El Otro Barrio


    StudioCanal's classics division Wild Bunch has picked up worldwide rights excluding Spain to Salvador Garcia Ruiz's San Sebastian competition title El Otro Barrio.
  • TF1 records 53% jump in profits


    TF1, France's leading TV channel, has announced a 53% jump in first-half profits to $144m.
  • Gaumont, UGC step up loyalty pass battle


    The French loyalty pass battle heated up this week as Gaumont linked up with MK2 and Cine Classiques to launch a common loyalty card, Le Passe. UGC is now also seeking to partner with independent exhibitors, starting with the Ritman theater operation.
  • Deauville honours Girlfight


    The Deauville Festival of American Cinema has awarded its Grand Prix du Cinema Independent to Karyn Kusama's Sundance title Girlfight.
  • Vivendi Universal fends off critics in Deauville


    Canal Plus top brass used the occasion of an informal press lunch with their Universal counterparts in Deauville on Thursday to shrug off Credit Lyonnais' recent downgrading of Vivendi and Canal Plus stock.
  • Young French stay away from cinemas


    Fewer young people are going to the movies in France, according to a CNC report assessing the cinema-going habits of 6-24 year olds, the "golden age group". But fortunately those who do go, go more often than before, mostly due to the multiplex boom.
  • Brotherhood's local debut pushed back to next year


    The French release of StudioCanal's eagerly-awaited The Brotherhood Of Wolves (Le Pacte Des Loups) has been postponed from an autumn 2000 slot to the end of January 2001 due to an extended post-production period.
  • Warner Bros acquires French rights to La Verite


    Warner Bros France has picked up French-speaking rights to highly-anticipated local comedy La Verite Si Je Mens 2 - La Grande Distribution, the sequel to the 1997 hit title, through its French offshoot PECF (Production et Edition Cinematographique Francaise).
  • France's MK2 set to launch loyalty pass


    MK2 plans to launch a loyalty pass, as an answer to the cards created by fellow French exhibitors UGC, Pathe and Gaumont.
  • Vivendi Universal gets greenlight from Canada


    The three-way merger between Vivendi, Seagram and Canal Plus has been cleared by Canada's competition authorities.
  • France's Ubi Soft acquires Clancy's Red Storm


    French video game developer and distributor Ubi Soft Entertainment is to acquire Tom Clancy's Red Storm Entertainment - which develops video games adapted from the US author's novels - for a reported $45m.
  • CanalSatellite expands line-up; forecasts profit


    Canal Plus' French digital satellite operation, CanalSatellite, will add several new channels and interactive services to its line-up this autumn, most of which will be derived from its alliance with media and publishing giant Lagardere. Canal Plus has also said it expects the service to reach break-even this year as subscriptions grow 20-30%.
  • Gaumont joins loyalty card bandwagon


  • Italy's Mikado bags Venice closing film Vengo


    Italian distributor Mikado has acquired Venice closing night film Vengo, directed by Tony Gatlif, a French-Spanish co-production that is being sold worldwide by France's Flach Pyramide International.
  • Deauville competition line-up echoes Sundance


    Several Sundance titles feature in the competition line-up at this year's Deauville Festival of American Cinema (September 1-10), including Ben Younger's Boiler Room, Miguel Arteta's Chuck And Buck and Karyn Kusama's Girlfight.
  • EC puts Vivendi Universal probe on hold


    The European Commission has put its review of the Vivendi-Canal Plus-Seagram merger on hold until the partners provide additional data.
  • Bellucci signs to play Cleo in Asterix sequel


    Italian actress Monica Bellucci has reportedly signed to play Cleopatra opposite Christian Clavier and Gerard Depardieu in Renn Productions' Asterix And Obelix In The Service Of Cleopatra.
  • Canal Plus, Vivendi report revenue increases


    Canal Plus' film and television production and distribution division StudioCanal has reported an 11% increase in first-half revenues to Euros144m, mostly due to increased library sales and its consolidation of German film distributor Tobis.
  • NTL, MSDW buy France Telecom's Noos stake


    UK cable operator NTL is partnering with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Private Equity (MSDW) to acquire France Telecom's 49.9% stake in Suez Lyonnaise-controlled French cable operation Noos, for a reported Euros1.35bn.
  • M6 first half revenues up by 21%


    French broadcaster M6 has reported a 21% hike in first-half revenues, to Euros377.3m, compared to Euros211.9m for the same period in 1999. The increase was mostly due to a rise in advertising revenues, which increased 28.3%, from Euros214.6m in the first half of 1999, to Euros275.3m during the same period this year.
  • Deauville to host Eastwood tribute


    The 26th Deauville film festival (September 1-10) will feature a tribute to Clint Eastwood to coincide with the premiere of his latest film as a director, Space Cowboys, starring Tommy Lee Jones, James Garner and Donald Sutherland who will also attend.
  • France's AlloCine to launch movie channel


    French film-oriented internet portal AlloCine, in which Canal Plus holds a 25% stake, will launch a movie-themed channel, AlloCine Television, as of September 2000.
  • Universal to become Canal Plus subsidiary


    Vivendi chief Jean-Marie Messier has announced that Pierre Lescure - who has already been named COO of the future Vivendi Universal - will also be chairman of Universal Studios, which is to operate as a subsidiary of the new Canal Plus group, itself a 100% subsidiary of Vivendi Universal.
  • France changes ratings system in Baise-moi row


    French culture minister Catherine Tasca has agreed to reinstate the 18 certificate in France following the censorship row that broke out when controversial title Baise-moi (Fuck Me) was given an X rating when already on release.
  • StudioCanal pacts with Ovitz


    France's StudioCanal has formed a joint venture production company with Michael Ovitz's Artists Production Group (APG) to co-finance and produce 12 to 15 features over the next three years aimed at the US and international markets.
  • Jacob's successor to be chosen after summer


    As was planned, Gilles Jacob officially took over from Pierre Viot as president of the Cannes film festival on Monday (July 3), but the decision as to who will step into his shoes in the crucial role of director general will only be announced after the summer holidays.
  • Exhibitors refuse to pull Baise-moi


    A fully-fledged censorship row has blown up in France following the decision by French high court Conseil d'Etat to give controversial title Baise-moi (Fuck Me), which is already on release, an X rating. Exhibitor MK2 and some independent exhibitors are refusing to remove the film from their screens.
  • Baise-Moi banned from French cinemas


    Following a lawsuit by Promouvoir, an association defending "judeo-christian and family values", controversial French title Baise-moi has been given an X rating by France's Conseil d'Etat effectively banning it from French theatres.
  • Baise-moi opens well but faces lawsuit


    Controversial French title Baise-moi (Fuck Me) racked up 5,634 admissions from only 64 screens on its opening day in its home territory (June 28), despite the fact that France was playing Portugal that night in the semi-finals of the Euro 2000 soccer tournament.
  • Fete du Cinema overcomes Euro 2000


    Despite France's on-going success in the Euro 2000 soccer tournament, the country's annual cinema promotion scheme - the Fete du Cinema - managed to attract 3.8 million admissions over three days from June 25-27.
  • Jet Set takes off at French box office


    Two smaller French titles - Fabien Onteniente's comedy Jet Set and Lionel Delplanque's horror film Promenons Nous Dans Les Bois - have been the hottest tickets in France for the week ending June 20.
  • Miramax takes option for stake in Bac


    Miramax Films has secured the option to acquire a 1.9% stake in Bac Majestic, the holding company of Miramax's regular French distributor Bac Films, ahead of its float.
  • Business as usual for Canal Plus, Universal


    Canal Plus boss Pierre Lescure played down the idea of major strategic changes to his company's role in the European and US film industries following the trans-Atlantic merger that today created Vivendi Universal and returned PolyGram to European ownership.
  • Gitai chooses Miller adaptation for next project


    Israeli film-maker Amos Gitai - whose latest film, Kippur, was in competition at Cannes this year - will next direct an adaptation of Arthur Miller's novel Plain Girl: A Life.
  • Canal Plus-Pathe continue talks for UK pact


    France's StudioCanal appears to be forging ahead with talks to create a pan-European distribution network - a releasing apparatus that would effectively run alongside United International Pictures (UIP) should Canal Plus and its parent Vivendi succeed in their planned takeover of UIP partner Universal.
  • Vivendi Universal merger deal only days away


    It looks as if Vivendi chairman Jean-Marie Messier will be saying 'Bonjour Hollywood' within just a matter of days after both he and his prospective second-in-command Edgar Bronfman Jr separately confirmed that their hot-and-heavy negotiations to take over Seagram are all but wrapped up. The resulting Paris-based media and communications giant, Vivendi Universal, will focus on music, Europe and the internet and enjoy a stock market capitalisation of around $100bn.
  • Brune to replace Dassonville at Columbia France


    Eric Brune, currently sales director at French distributor UGC Fox Distribution (UFD), is to replace Richard Dassonville as CEO of Columbia TriStar's French outpost.
  • StudioCanal to fully finance Polanski's Pianist


    France's StudioCanal is close to finalising a deal to fully finance and handle worldwide sales on Roman Polanski's next project, The Pianist, a $35m adaptation of the novel by Polish writer Wladyslaw Szpilman.
  • French exhibitor Action launches discount cards


    French arthouse exhibitor Action plans to launch the "Action Gitanes" discount card in July. The card - which will cost $36 (FFr250) for entrance to 10 films and is valid for a year - is the first independent answer to major exhibitor UGC's highly controversial "UGC Illimite" card.
  • Bony to replace Lupfer at TPS Cinema


    Philippe Bony has been named general manager of TPS Cinema, replacing Didier Lupfer, who has moved over to rival pay-TV operator Canal Plus (Screendaily, June 2).
  • TF1 forms holding company for digital operations


    French free TV broadcaster TF1 is to create a holding company, TF1 Digital, which will group all of its digital TV operations.
  • Canal Plus loses appeal against fine


    Canal Plus has lost its appeal against a $1.5m (FFr10m) fine imposed by the highest French court for unfair competition practices against rival Television Par Satellite (TPS) with regard to pay-per-view rights.
  • Arte, GMT team up for gender series


    Franco-German broadcaster Arte is partnering with French drama producer GMT to produce 10 TV movies under the strand name Masculin/Feminin (Male/Female), which will examine issues of equality between men and women around the world.
  • Lupfer quits TPS for Canal Plus


    Didier Lupfer, the former head of movie channels at French digital satellite service TPS, is moving to the platform's archrival Canal Plus, where he takes up the role of programme development chief.
  • Frere joins M6's revamped board


    Belgian financier Albert Frere, one of CLT-Ufa's main shareholders through his holding company Audiofina, has joined the newly-appointed supervisory board of M6 and been named vice president of the French free TV broadcaster.
  • Lot 47 acquires Fast Food, Fast Women


    Lot 47 has acquired North American rights (excluding Quebec) to Amos Kollek's Cannes competition title Fast Food, Fast Women, from French sales outfit Celluloid Dreams.
  • MK2 rings up sales on Chabrol's Chocolat


    France's MK2 has secured several sales on Claude Chabrol's upcoming film Merci Pour Le Chocolat. Among distributors that have recently taken the film are Italy's Mikado, Canada's Remstar, Spain's Wanda, Greece's Robebud and Belgium's Les Films de L'Elysees.
  • Chorot to replace Le Pogam at Gaumont


    Franck Chorot, who currently heads UIP's French distribution outpost, will join Gaumont this summer, replacing Pierre-Ange Le Pogam as deputy general manager in charge of worldwide marketing and distribution.
  • Canal Plus makes five-year pledge to French film


    Canal Plus signed a five-year deal with the French film producers' associations in Cannes last week, in which it pledged to invest FFr20.5 per subscriber per month in European films in return for exclusive pay-TV rights.
  • Murdoch invites TF1 to join Stream


    News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch has reportedly invited French free-TV broadcaster TF1 to enter News Corp and Telecom Italia's Italian pay-TV operation Stream, a competitor to Canal Plus' Telepiu.
  • Miramax bags US, remake rights to Jet Set


    Miramax has acquired remake and US distribution rights to French-language comedy Jet Set which Hilltop Entertainment is selling internationally in collaboration with French packaging specialist Jean-Michel Ciszewski.
  • Goldwyn, CanWest team up for Australia's Sex


    Samuel Goldwyn Films and CanWest Films have jointly acquired US rights to Australian title Better Than Sex from France Television Distribution (FTP).
  • Kinowelt on board for next Rivette pic


    Germany's Kinowelt has boarded the next film from French director Jacques Rivette, Va Savoir, which is to start shooting this summer.
  • Queen Isabelle is back


    Isabelle Adjani, who was last seen in the Hollywood remake of Diabolique in 1996, is coming back to to the big screen in a French film that will shoot next year after year's finished acting on the Parisian stage.
  • Key, Manga, Korea get Better Than Sex


    France Television Distribution (FTD) has sold hot market title Better Than Sex, which it also co-produced, to Italy's Key Films, Spain's Manga Films and Korea's Film Art Centre. President Films, one of FTD's two theatrical sales labels, along with arthouse specialist Art Box, has also sold the film to Greece, Finland, India and Israel.
  • Renn develops English Deputy, Cinderella


    Pathe's French production subsidiary Renn Productions is developing two English-language titles - The Deputy, to be directed by Costa-Gavras, and a cinematic version of Cinderella, to be directed by Bruno Aveillon.
  • TF1 gets Lost And Delirious


    TF1 International has picked up worldwide rights on Lea Pool's first English-language project, Lost And Delirious, which starts shooting May 29 in Lennoxville.
  • Films Sans Frontieres acquires Golden Bowl


    James Ivory's Cannes competition title The Golden Bowl, which is being sold by TF1 International, has been acquired by French arthouse distributor Films Sans Frontieres.
  • M6 arm snags Nurse, Gangs


    M6 Interactions, the trading offshoot of the French broadcaster, has been discreetly building a major theatrical and home video distribution operation that will market such high profile recent acquisitions as Neil LaBute's Nurse Betty and Martin Scorsese's Gangs Of New York in France.
  • A-Film plucks first Chicken


    Dreamworks' Chicken Run is to be the first title handled by San Fu Maltha's new Dutch theatrical distribution outfit A-Film BV through an output deal which he has just signed with Pathe International.
  • CLT-Ufa gangs up with Scorsese, Altman pictures


    CLT-Ufa is understood to have acquired French and Eastern European rights to Martin Scorsese's $100m historical opus, Gangs Of New York starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz, as well as French and Benelux's rights to Robert Altman's upcoming Doctor T And The Women headling Richard Gere, both from IEG.
  • Deneuve to star in Wild Bunch's Thumb


    Catherine Deneuve is to star in Olivier Dahan's Le Petit Poucet (Little Tom Thumb) with Elodie Bouchez and Romane Bohringer. The $12m fairy tale, which is currently in development at French production outfit La Chauve Souris (Dobermann), is one of the two major French films which Wild Bunch, the 'classics' division of Le StudioCanal, will start pre-selling in Cannes.
  • Celluloid takes first look at IFC


    French sales outfit Celluloid Dreams has sealed a first-look agreement with the US' Independent Film Channel (IFC) following its acquisition of international rights to IFC-produced title Happy Accidents, directed by Brad Anderson and starring Marisa Tomei and Vincent D'Onofrio.
  • UGC agrees to withdraw card from May 9


    UGC has agreed to put the sale of its highly controversial subscription card - UGC Illimite - on hold from May 9 until the French competition council decides whether it is anti-competitive. The move follows a request by French culture minister Catherine Tasca (Screendaily, April 25).
  • TF1 discusses pan-Euro link-up


    French broadcaster TF1 is in preliminary talks with the UK's Carlton Communications, Germany's KirchGruppe and Italy's Mediaset to jointly develop television programming and Internet-related activities, according to French press reports.
  • Le Pogam exits post as Gaumont marketing chief


    Pierre-Ange Le Pogam is understood to be leaving his position as Gaumont's worldwide distribution and marketing chief in the latest of a string of upheavals at the French film group.
  • Films Distribution picks up De L'Histoire Ancienne


    In the run-up to Cannes, French international sales company Films Distribution has acquired Critics' Week title De L'Histoire Ancienne, directed by Orso Miret.
  • MK2 picks up nine from CiBy library


    French arthouse specialist MK2 has acquired worldwide rights to nine titles from the library of defunct sales and financing outfit CiBy 2000. Most of the rest of CiBy's catalogue was acquired by France's TF1 International.
  • Roissy, Celluloid Dreams cancel merger plans


    French sales outfits Roissy Films and Celluloid Dreams have cancelled the merger of their international sales activities because of a misconception that Roissy was financially backing its partner.
  • Canal Plus, CLT-Ufa discuss link-up


    French pay-TV giant Canal Plus and Luxembourg-based broadcaster CLT-Ufa - which is merging with the UK's Pearson Television - are in talks about a potential co-operation in the areas of TV rights acquisition and production.
  • Canal Plus strikes pact with Horwits ahead of sale


    Canal Plus Image unveiled details of its flotation today (April 19) and announced it is doubling its investment in film this year and has struck a production deal with Mitch Horwits, the former president of Spelling Films.
  • TF1 acquires controlling stake in Telema


    In an unexpected switch of allegiance, leading French production house Telema has broken its alliance with Le Studio Canal Plus in favour of free TV broadcaster TF1, which has acquired a controlling 49% stake in the company.
  • Birkin to head Un Certain Regard jury


    Paris-based British actress and singer Jane Birkin will chair the jury for the 2000 Cannes Un Certain Regard sidebar.
  • Warner, Lagardere pact for TV production push


    Warner Bros International Television (WBIT)has struck a long-term alliance with Europe Audiovisuel, the audiovisual division of defence, communications and media conglomerate Lagardere.
  • Rapp's Gout takes top prizes at Cognac crime fest


    Bernard Rapp 's Une Affaire De Gout bagged three awards at the 18th Cognac Festival of Crime Films (April 6-9), including the Cognac 2000 Grand Prize, the Critics' Prize and the Cine Live Prize.
  • MIP-TV: Hallmark signs output deal with M6


    French broadcaster M6 has signed a two-year output deal with US-based TV drama producer Hallmark Entertainment.
  • MIP-TV: Carlton, TeleMuenchen unwrap alliance


    UK-based Carlton International Media and Germany's TeleMuenchen have signed a wide-ranging agreement which covers co-production, licensing, a representation deal for German-speaking territories and an output deal with Carlton's Los Angeles-based offshoot Carlton America.
  • MIP-TV: Hallmark extends output deal with RTL


    US-based TV drama producer Hallmark Entertainment has extended its three-year output deal with Germany's RTL Entertainment for a further three years.
  • MIP-TV: Delon, Belmondo sign up for TF1 drama


    French broadcaster TF1 has unveiled two big-budget television mini-series, to be produced by regular producing partner GMT, which are set to star big-screen talents, Alain Delon and Jean Paul Belmondo.
  • TPS film channels outrank CanalSatellite


    Television Par Satellite (TPS) movie channels, Cinestar 1 and Cinestar 2, are outperforming rival CanalSatellite's three CineCinema channels, according to Mediametrie's viewership survey Audicabsat.
  • Messier keen on Canal Plus, Platco collaboration


    Vivendi chairman Jean-Marie Messier would like to see a link-up between Vivendi-owned Canal Plus and News Corp's planned digital platform, Platco, according to Reuters.
  • Taxi 2 breaks first week record in France


    Arp Selection's Taxi 2 has broken another French box office record, selling more tickets in its first week - 3.48 million - than any other film in French box office history.
  • Canal Plus to up investment in Italian production


    Canal Plus and its Italian pay-TV operation TelePiu have pledged to step up their involvement in Italian films by investing L90bn in 2000-2001, compared to L60bn in 1998-1999.
  • Suzhou wins top honours at Paris Festival


  • Canal Plus abandons search for Italian partner


    France's Canal Plus has abandoned its search for a local partner for Italian pay-TV platform Telepiu, according to French daily newspaper La Tribune.
  • Taxi 2 becomes France's biggest ever opener


  • Beineix, Anglade reteam for Mortel Transfer


    Arturo Ripstein's The Ruination Of Men (La Perdicion De Los Hombres) walked away with the Golden Shell award for best film at the 48th San Sebastian International film festival.
  • Lagardere profits down but media boosts sales


    French media and aerospace group Lagardere has reported a 13.9% decrease in profits during the 1999 financial year to $235m (FFr1.58bn), compared to $268m (FFr1.8bn) in 1998. However revenue was up 14.9% over the same period to $12bn (FFr80.5bn), from $11.8bn (FFr79.1bn) in 1998, with the growth mostly attributed to media operations.
  • TPS unveils plans to launch TV e-mail


    French digital satellite platform TPS, a rival to Canal Plus' CanalSatellite operation, has unveiled plans to provide Internet access and other digital services through television sets before the end of the year.
  • Oliver Stone to chair Cognac jury


    Oliver Stone - whose latest title, Any Given Sunday, opens in France on April 12 - will chair the jury of the 18th Festival of Cognac (April 6-9), which focuses on thrillers and crime stories.
  • Joffe's Vatel to open Cannes


    Roland Joffe's $29m (FFr199m) historical epic Vatel, produced by Gaumont and starring Gerard Depardieu, Uma Thurman and Tim Roth, will open this year's Cannes Film Festival on May 10.
  • Canal Plus hits back at TF1 in pay-TV war


    Canal Plus COO Denis Olivennes has lashed back at TF1 chairman Patrick Le Lay over his accusation that Canal Plus is monopolising pay-TV rights in the French market (Screendaily March 20).
  • France's AB seeks secondary listing


    French television producer-distributor Groupe AB, which also operates cable and satellite channels in France and Germany, has announced plans to seek a secondary listing on the Paris Stock Exchange.
  • Nowhere To Hide steals spotlight at Deauville fest


    South Korean film Nowhere to Hide scooped four out of six awards at the second Pan-Asia Festival of Deauville (March 17-19). The Sundance title won the Grand Jury prize, best director for Lee Myung-Se, best actor for Park Joong-Hoon and best cinemaphotography.
  • TF1 chief accuses Canal Plus of monopoly position


    Patrick Le Lay, chairman of French broadcaster TF1 which part owns the TPS digital platform, has launched a fresh attack on Canal Plus over the on-going issue of access to pay-TV rights.
  • Rostain appointed as Gaumont sales chief


  • Dunaway to chair Festival de Paris jury


    Faye Dunaway will chair the jury of the 15th Festival de Paris film festival (March 27 - April 3), which specialises in first and second efforts.
  • Telepiu, net operations add to Canal Plus loss


    Michael Haneke, the Austrian director whose film The Piano Teacher (La Pianiste) scooped three of the top awards at Cannes last week, has set his next project as a series for television.
  • France says \'oui\' to web site ads


    The decision by French audiovisual watchdog Conseil Superieur de l'Audiovisuel (CSA) to lift the ban on the advertising of cinema-related web sites on television is causing an uproar among the French film production unions.
  • Disney signs up Ubi Soft for Dinosaur game


    Disney Interactive has signed up France's Ubi Soft Entertainment to produce and distribute a video game adapted from its upcoming 3D animated feature Dinosaur, which is to be released in the US in May 2000.
  • Gov't set to intervene in French producers' battle


    The French government looks set to intervene in a stalemate between pay-TV outfit Television Par Satellite (TPS) and industry bodies BLIC, BLOC and ARP about the relationship between the pay-TV sector and French producers.
  • French film suffers decline in foreign investment


    Foreign investment in French production decreased by an alarming 34% in 1999, according to figures released by French cultural body CNC (Centre National de la Cinematographie).
  • Canal Plus Image to float by June


    France's Canal Plus will float subsidiary Canal Plus Image on the French stock exchange before summer 2000 and probably no later than June according to an interview with Canal Plus chairman Pierre Lescure in French magazine Le Nouvel Economiste.
  • UK's Warriors, Kid scoop Nymphs at Monte Carlo


    UK productions dominated the mini-series category of the 40th Monte Carlo Television Festival (Feb 17-23) with the BBC's Warriors walking away with the top award and Channel Four's Kid In The Corner scooping three of the four remaining prizes.
  • Zentropa wins producer award at Monte Carlo


    Danish production outfit Zentropa has picked up the award for best European producer at the 40th edition of the Monte Carlo Television Festival (Feb 17-23).
  • Venus outshines Joan at Cesars


    With eight nominations each, Luc Besson's The Messenger: The Story Of Joan Of Arc and Patrice Leconte's The Girl On The Bridge (La Fille Sur Le Pont) may have been the hottest contenders for the Cesar awards - France's equivalent of the Academy Awards - but it was a smaller film Tonie Marshall's Venus Beaute which finally picked up top honours, much to everyone's surprise.
  • Lagardere, Deutsche Telekom form internet alliance


    Europe's internet-oriented merger frenzy is showing no signs of slowing down. In the latest deal, French defence and media conglomerate Lagardere is merging its internet service provider (ISP), Club Internet - which has 380,000 subscribers - with Deutsche Telekom's T-Online, which with 4.3 million subscribers is Europe's largest ISP.
  • France's GMT gears up for Napoleon four-parter


    Leading French drama producer GMT Productions is developing a four-part mini-series, Napoleon, which is set to Christian Clavier (Asterix & Obelix, The Visitors) in the title role.
  • French director Vadim dies


    French director Roger Vadim died today after a long struggle with cancer. He was 72.
  • Ellipse, Expand set to tie the knot


    France's two leading television production outfits - Canal Plus subsidiary Ellipse Programme and the Expand group - plan to merge their production labels and libraries to create a new entity with annual revenues of $212m (FFR1.4bn).
  • La Sept-Arte, Sundance partner for movie channel


    Robert Redford's Sundance Channel and French public broadcaster La Sept-Arte are linking up to create a cable and satellite movie channel in France.
  • Le Studio set to fully finance Mike Leigh trio


    Le Studio Canal Plus has signed a three-picture deal with UK film-maker Mike Leigh and his producing partner Simon Channing-Williams. The acclaimed director had also been in financing discussions recently with United Artists Films.
  • Eyes Wide Shut is French critics' best foreign pic


    Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut has been singled out by the French critics as best foreign film of 1999 for their prize, the Prix Leon Moussinac, which was awarded yesterday (Feb 7).
  • Toy Story 2 receives top honours at Imagina


  • Besson scores at Lumieres


    Luc Besson's The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc was awarded the top two prizes - best film and best director - at the 2000 Lumieres du Cinema Français. The awards, which are the French equivalent of the US' Golden Globes, are considered as a dress rehearsal for the Cesar Awards, which will take place on February 19.
  • Canal Plus snaps up Tobis


    Canal Plus is taking a controlling stake in Germany's Tobis in order to create the German portion of its proposed pan-European studio; Le Studio Canal Plus Deutschland.
  • Roissy, Dreams to merge


    French independent sales outfits Roissy Films and Celluloid Dreams are merging their international sales activities aiming to consolidate what both see as complementary businesses.