Long-rumoured departure of Patrick Binet from TF1 International confirmed as TF1 Group rolls out new management team ahead of AFM.

Benoit Louvet has been appointed president of TF1 International and its films sales and acquisition arm TF1 Droits Audiovisuels, replacing Patrick Binet as the head of the Paris-based outfit, its parent company TF1 Group has announced.

At the same time, Daniel Preljocaj has been appointed managing director of TF1 International and TF1 Droit Audiovisuel.

The announcement confirmed the rumoured departure of veteran film industry mover and shaker Binet, following a French court’s decision in June to fine TF1 €32 million over its failure to honour an agreement to properly commercialise Spike Lee’s World War II drama Miracle at St.Anne in 2009. 

TF1 Droit Audiovisual later issued a statement saying that mediation between TF1 and Lee, and the film’s Italian producers Roberto Cicutto and Luigi Musini had led to a “mutually satisfactory agreement bringing to an end their dispute.”  TF1 refused to comment on the details of the deal at the time.

Binet took charge TF1’s film sales and acquisitions activities in 2002, arriving from UGC International where as CEO he had handled the financing and sale of hits such as Amélie Poulain.

At TF1 International he spear-headed in 2009 the creation of 70/30 joint venture with UGC International whereby TF1 sells UGC-produced titles and UGC distributes titles in France from the TF1 line-up.

Other highlights of Binet’s time at TF1 include the active role he took in raising finance and finding a U.S. distributor for Olivier Dahan’s La vie en rose (La Mome), for which Marion Cotillard won a Best Actress Academy Award in 2008.

Considered a highly influential figure in the world of the arts in France, Binet was made a Knight of the Order of Art and Letters by the Minister of Culture in 2006, in recognition of his contribution to French cinema.

The TF1 Group would not comment on the details of his departure.

Incoming TF1 International president, Louvet joined the TF1 Group as corporate secretary of TF1 Publicité in September 2007. In October 2010, he was appointed executive vice president in charge of acquisitions and distribution of programmes for the TF1 Group. 

Preljocaj joined the TF1 Group in 1995, initially working in the financial department of TF1 International.

In October 2010, Preljocaj was appointed managing director of TF1 Video, where he spearheaded the reorganisation of the subsidiary’s VOD activities in the face of falling sales of DVDs and Blu-ray discs.