Orange, the France Telecom-owned mobile operator, has signed a deal with number of French film bodies to invest $120.2m (€80m) over the next three years in French and European cinema.
The deal has been signed with the Bureau de Liaison des Industries Cinematopgraphiques (BLIC), Bureau de Liaison des Organisations du Cinema (BLOC) and ARP, which covers producers, directors, distributors and exhibitors in France.
Orange Cinema Series (OCS) will invest the cash through its pay-TV service Orange Cinema Series and about 60% of that will be committed to pre-buying French films and the rest invested in film co-productions.
It has also committed to spending 25% of the budget to acquiring French-language films with a budget of $8m (€5.35m) or less, and it will also support film distribution and exhibition, specifically promoting digital.
Orange has also committed to compensating rights holders for the use of content on the interactive features of the Cinema Series service, such as catch-up TV.
The mobile operator and content provider has been increasingly investing in film over recent years through its production arm, Studio 37. It works with a series of independent producers and has co-produced films includingm Riad Sattouf’s first film Les Beaux Gosses.
OSC, launched last November, is available on TV, PC and mobile phone. It offers programmes and a large selection of films on a five dedicated channels.