Canal Plus is to become the principal sponsor of the Deauville Festival of American Film.

The value of the endorsement by the pay-TV giant was not disclosed, but the contract is understood to cover three years from 2000 to 2002.

The move appears to underscore the revival of Deauville, which is the only major festival in France not to receive any funding from the Centre National de la Cinematographie (CNC). In other attempts to recapture its position as a key event on the European circuit, Deauville has in recent years inaugurated a screenwriting prize and a competitive section for US independent films, which it shows alongside the autumn's US blockbusters.

In addition to reports and news flashes broadcast from the Normandy event, Canal Plus will also deliver a temporary festival channel for the length of the celebrations (Sept 1-10).