Titles for French distribution include Love Ranch, 7 Days, Dorian Gray, and $5 A Day.

Canadian media company E1 Entertainment is expanding its global distribution network into France, a dramatic increase of a European footprint that includes the UK and Benelux.

E1 is partnering with French distributor Aventi, a major independent home entertainment distributor that handles product from BAC Films, M6 Video, Opening and CTV. Aventi has 3000 live customer accounts with companies such as Amazon, Virgin, Fnac and Media Saturn.

E1 president of filmed entertainment Patrice Theroux said the deal is similar to its arrangement in Australia and New Zealand with Beyond Home Entertainment. Aventi will handle E1-branded DVD titles in France while E1 International Television will oversee sales to local TV networks and the French arms of international digital outlets such as iTunes.

The company has lined up several films for French distribution including Taylor Hackford’s Love Ranch, the French-Canadian thriller 7 Days,Dorian Gray, and $5 A Day starring Christopher Walken and Sharon Stone. (Earlier this week, E1 announced plans to enter the US theatrical market with a limited release of Love Ranch.) TV titles to be released on DVD include E1’s own productions The Bridge, which is on the US network CBS, and Copper, which airs on ABC.

Speaking to Screen International, Patrice Theroux, President, Filmed Entertainment, said: “France is a challenging market to sell into. There’s a lot of home-grown content. But we often acquire a program for the UK or Benelux and find the rights for France or Australia are also available. We may not always get a price reduction [on volume] but as a multi-territory buyer we offer sellers one contract.”