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Former Canal Plus CEO Rodolphe Belmer Joins Netflix’s Board of Directors

Rodolphe Belmer, the former CEO of Canal Plus Group, has joined Netflix’s board of directors.

Belmer’s addition brings the total number of directors to ten and allows Netflix to expand the breadth of the streaming giant’s global and entertainment experience.

“We look forward to benefiting from Rodolphe’s wisdom, experience and global perspective as we continue to grow Netflix all over the world,” said Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and chief executive.

Belmer previously held several roles at Canal + Group, which he joined in 2001, most recently serving as its CEO from 2012 to 2015. During his tenure, Belmer played a key role is pushing Canal Plus into becoming a top purveyor of ambitious, internationally-driven drama series, such as “Spiral,” “The Returned,” “Borgia” and “Braquo.” Belmer has also been credited for developing an editorial line focusing on thought-provoking programs.

Since March 2016, Belmer has served as CEO of Eutelsat, the leading satellite operator in Europe.

Related storiesNetflix
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Makers of ‘Versailles’ Develop Fantasy Thriller ‘Dolce Vita,’ Spy Drama ‘Thanksgiving’ (Exclusive)

Makers of ‘Versailles’ Develop Fantasy Thriller ‘Dolce Vita,’ Spy Drama ‘Thanksgiving’ (Exclusive)
Paris – Capa Drama, the French production company behind costume drama “Versailles” and International Emmy-winning series “Braquo,” is developing “Dolce Vita,” a fantasy thriller set in 1950s and ’60s Italy, and “Thanksgiving,” a spy drama about a suspicion-laden marriage.

Dolce Vita” was created and is currently being written by Yves Ramonet and Dino Gentili. Arnaud Figaret (“After I’m Gone”) and Aude Albano (“Versailles”) are producing at Capa Drama, which is owned by Newen and headed by Claude Chelli.

Set in Rome, the series will depict an imaginary war between the Vatican and a powerful clan of vampires that has been raging for centuries. “Dolce Vita” follows a character propelled into the midst of the war while a string of religious crimes shakes modern Italy’s Golden Age.

The 10-episode series will have an estimated budget in the 30-million-euro ($34-million) range, on a par with Simon Mirren and David Wolstencroft’s “Versailles” (pictured), France’s most expensive drama
See full article at Variety - Film News »

FranceTV Distribution Launches International Sales Division for Feature Films

FranceTV Distribution Launches International Sales Division for Feature Films
In the runup to the Berlin Film Festival, FranceTV Distribution, the commercial arm of French public broadcaster France Televisions, is launching an international sales division dedicated to feature-length films.

The new division will kick off with Jean Becker’s “The Red Collar,” a drama based on Jean-Christophe Rufin’s popular novel. The film, which begins shooting in June, will star Francois Cluzet (“Intouchables”) and Nicolas Duvauchelle (“Braquo”). La Belle Company will release the film in France in 2018.

Becker, whose recent directorial credits include “My Afternoons with Margueritte” and “Love Me No More,” is producing “The Red Collar” with Claire Maillard at ICE3. “The Red Collar” has been pre-bought by France 3.

“The presence of FranceTV Distribution on the international film market underscores its expertise in terms of movie promotion and we are proud to start with ‘The Red Collar.’ It’s just the beginning of a new and exciting adventure for FranceTV Distribution,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

French-Moroccan Actor Assaad Bouab Broadens His Canvas

French-Moroccan Actor Assaad Bouab Broadens His Canvas
Paris– Having playing a Muslim Azerbiijani boy in Asif Kapadia’s “Ali and Nino,” a Syrien camp commander in “Homeland” (season 5) “Homeland,” the handsome French-Moroccan actor Assaad Bouab might well be on track to follow the footsteps of Reda Kateb, another French actor of North African origins who appeared in dozens of French films and TV series and a few high-profile U.S. titles before accessing meatier roles at home.

Represented by Emmanuelle Ramade and Florence Charmasson at Adequat in Paris, Bouab has seen his career heat up in the last couple years. Since getting his first leading role in Mary Jimenez and Bénédicte Liénard’s politically-engaged “Le chant des hommes” and starring in the popular Canal Plus show “Braquo,” Bouab clinched a key role in the second season of “10 Pour Cent” (“Call My Agent”), the French comedy hit series centering on a Parisian talent agency. Bouab plays an arrogant,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Braquo: The Complete Season Four’ DVD Review

When it comes to my taste in television, I think my reviews give away my liking for Nordic Noir and European shows that look to the darker side of society. One that I’ve always managed to miss has been Braquo, but now I’ve managed to change this. Is Braquo: The Complete Season Four release a good place to start? The answer is yes.

While Braquo starts off season 4 at the end of what looks to have been a war against Turkish gang lords, don’t expect things to quieten down. With Eddy Caplan (Jean-Hugues Anglade) under suspicion by Internal Affairs, his violent and ‘unorthodox’ methods of getting things done are now under scrutiny. The first episode starts off at such a frenetic pace that it can be hard for a new audience to keep up. Thankfully though the main group of cops the show now focuses on are easy to like,
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Giveaway – Win a copy of Braquo Season 4 on Blu-ray

To celebrate the release of ‘Braquo’ Season 4 – currently being aired over on Fox at 10pm – on both Blu-ray and DVD from Nordic Noir & Beyond, we have two Blu-ray copies of this addictive French crime drama to give away.

Braquo’ follows a squad of Paris police officers who crossed the “yellow line” after their colleague Max was unfairly accused of criminal misconduct and committed suicide. Now Eddie Caplan (Jean-Hugues Anglade), Walter Morlighem (Joseph Malerba), Theo Wachevski (Nicolas Duvauchelle) and Roxane Delgado (Karole Rocher) exist on the very edge of the law.

In season four, Caplan and his team are again confronted by the fierce and ruthless “Baba” Aroudji whose only son was killed by Morlighem during a police raid. Once more, the rogue cops are prepared to cross the line to get rid of the big shot, even if they are closely watched by the Police Authorities.

In the meantime, Caplan
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Vivendi’s Studiocanal Sells ‘Section Zero,’ ‘The Five,’ ‘Spotless’ to Spain’s Telefonica

In one of Vivendi’s biggest deals to date with Spain’s Telefonica, Vivendi-owned Studiocanal has licensed to Telefonica’s pay TV operator Movistar Plus a trio of TV series: “Section Zero,” “The Five” and “Spotless.” Movistar Plus has also renewed its licensing deal for “Pillars of the Earth.”

Deals take in pay TV and Svod rights to Spain on some of the latest TV plays by Luc Besson’s EuropaCop, which co-produced “Section Zero” and U.S. novelist Harlan Coben, whose “The Five” is the first series he has originated for TV.

The four-series pact on a clutch of Studiocanal’s banner series over 2015-2016 also marks the latest trading between Vivendi and Telefonica, one of Europe’s biggest telcos, which boasted a turnover of €47.2 billion ($52.6 billion) in 2015. Telefonica also owns Spain’s biggest pay TV operation, Movistar Plus, with 3.7 million subscriber households at the end of 2015, and has launched pay TV operations over much of
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Vivendi’s Vincent Bollore Considers Closing Money-Losing Canal Plus Channels

Paris — Vincent Bollore, the boss of Vivendi — parent company of Canal Plus Group, Universal Music Group, Dailymotion and shareholder of Telecom Italia — rocked the boat at the annual shareholders’ meeting on Wednesday, warning that Canal Plus’ six pay TV channels would fold if escalating losses continued.

In what seemed to be a lobbying push directed toward the French antitrust board, the French billionaire said loud and clear that the livelihood of Canal Plus depended for the most part on its ability to access sports rights, which have been held by Al Jazeera’s BeIN Sports since 2012. The anti-trust authorities have yet to clear Canal Plus’ deal for a five-year exclusive distribution of beIN Sports.

Per Bollore, the launch of BeIN Sports, Netflix and other Ott services have been highly detrimental to Canal Plus, which keeps losing more and more money — Canal Plus’ pay TV channels lost 180 million in 2014, 250 million in
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Vivendi’s Vincent Bollore Considers Closing Money-Losing Canal Plus Channels

Paris — Vincent Bollore, the boss of Vivendi — parent company of Canal Plus Group, Universal Music Group, Dailymotion and shareholder of Telecom Italia — rocked the boat at the annual shareholders’ meeting on Wednesday, warning that Canal Plus’ six pay TV channels would fold if escalating losses continued.

In what seemed to be a lobbying push directed toward the French antitrust board, the French billionaire said loud and clear that the livelihood of Canal Plus depended for the most part on its ability to access sports rights, which have been held by Al Jazeera’s BeIN Sports since 2012. The anti-trust authorities have yet to clear Canal Plus’ deal for a five-year exclusive distribution of beIN Sports.

Per Bollore, the launch of BeIN Sports, Netflix and other Ott services have been highly detrimental to Canal Plus, which keeps losing more and more money — Canal Plus’ pay TV channels lost 180 million in 2014, 250 million in
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Series Mania: ‘Section Zero,’ ‘Frozen Dead,’ ’Contact’ Underscore France’s New TV Ambitions

Paris – Three high-profile Gallic series – “Section Zero,” “The Frozen Dead” and “Contact” – feature at Coming Next From France, a Series Mania/Tvfi showcase which captures the French TV in evolution.

French broadcasters still have to think of their home markets. Of the six-scripted dramas, three are procedurals made in large part for France, where murder mysteries have a long tradition. All, however, show an ambition to also sell outside their country of origin, while others capture a burgeoning attempt at diversification of France’s scripted-tv offer.

Produced by the Luc Besson-owned EuropaCorp TV’s Bad Company, and a Canal Plus original series co-financed by Studiocanal, which sells world rights, and Belgium’s UMedia, tapping into Belgian tax breaks, “Section Zero” is budgeted at €2 million ($2.3 million) an episode, per Edouard de Vesinne.

That makes “Section Zero” one of the most expensive French TV shows ever made, doubling France’ average TV
See full article at Variety - TV News »

MipTV 2016 Wrap: Big Euro Pay TVs, High-End Drama and Millennials Dominate Trade Fair

MipTV 2016 Wrap: Big Euro Pay TVs, High-End Drama and Millennials Dominate Trade Fair
Cannes – Europe’s two biggest pay TVs – Vivendi’s Canal Plus and Sky – international’s high-end drama push and trad TV’s millennial outreach made much of running – in news and trends – at a 2016 MipTV market which offered genuine insight on how some of the biggest TV companies in the world outside the U.S. are meeting the digital challenge.

Vivendi, Sky and Rtl held center stage – literally when honchos Dominique Delport, Guillaume de Posch and Jeremy Darroch made keynotes or fielded Q & As at the Palais des Festivals Grand Auditorium, later to receive Variety’s Achievement in Intl. Television Award.

But the event’s more conventional real stars were perhaps its YouTubers, led by Michelle Phan, supernovas for their fans and now more comfortably on the radar of an established TV industry which is discovering ways of handling digital natives.

Meanwhile, at a 2016 Mip TV market energized by a one-day MipDrama Screenings,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

MipTV: De Vesinne, Greggory on ‘Section Zéro,’ Canal Plus’ Big New TV Drama

Cannes — Post-Apocalypse Noir, linking three of France’s powerhouses – it’s a Canal Plus original series, produced by Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp TV and sold by Vivendi/Canal Plus’ Studiocanal, a powerful combo – with Olivier Marchal, a distinguished film director (“36 Quai des Orfevres”), auteur also of Canal Plus’ brutal, downbeat cop original series “Braquo,” one of its biggest hit original series and export successes. Set in a world just some years in the future, after societal breakdown, melding elements of French “polar” crime thriller and, as EuropaCorp’s Edouard de Vesinne says, crepuscular Western, “Section Zéro” turns on a cop, Sirius Becker, who still has a code of honor in a world of class-cordoned urban dystopia, crime and corruption, ruled by a bottom-line-obsessed Corporation. Defined by his work – I’m very good at my job, he retorts in knee-jerk reaction when criticized by his daughter — he pays a terrible price
See full article at Variety - TV News »

MipTV: Netflix Acquires Canal Plus’ Hit Period Series ‘Versailles’ (Exclusive)

MipTV: Netflix Acquires Canal Plus’ Hit Period Series ‘Versailles’ (Exclusive)
Cannes — Netflix has acquired second-window U.S. streaming rights to “Versailles,” the ambitious period series created and exec produced by Simon Mirren (“Criminal Minds”) and David Wolstencroft (“The Escape Artist”).

Sold out worldwide by Zodiak Rights and made for French pay TV channel Canal Plus, the 10-part series stars two British up-and-comers, Georges Blagden (“Vikings”) in the role of Louis Xiv and Alexander Vlahos in the role of the Sun King’s enigmatic brother.

Versailles” was produced by Newen’s Capa Drama and co-produced by Zodiak and Incendo with a budget of 30 million Euros, which is considered highly pricey by French production standards. The series was exec produced by Claude Chelli (“Braquo”), Anne Thomopoulos (“Rome”) and Incendo’s Jean Bureau. “Yves Saint Laurent” helmer Jalil Lespert directed the first episodes.

Dealing with power, love, betrayal and war, “Versailles” explores a defining period of French history through the rein of King Louis Xiv,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

MipTV: Ovation TV Picks Up U.S. Rights to Canal Plus’ ‘Versailles’ (Exclusive)

Cannes — Ovation TV has acquired U.S. premiere rights to Canal Plus’ hit period drama “Versailles” from Zodiak Rights.

Now sold around the world, the ambitious English-language series was created and exec produced by Simon Mirren (“Criminal Minds”) and David Wolstencroft (“The Escape Artist”). Powered by two rising British stars, Georges Blagden (“Vikings”) in the role of Louis Xiv and Alexander Vlahos in the role of Sun King’s enigmatic brother, “Versailles” has earned solid reviews and record ratings on Canal Plus as well as in foreign markets.

Versailles” will be rolling out in the U.S. on Ovation TV, a network dedicated to arts and cultural programs, on Oct.6.

The show was produced by France’s Capa Drama with Canada’s Incendo and Zodiak. Claude Chelli (“Braquo”), Anne Thomopoulos (“Rome,””The Tudors”) and Incendo’s Jean Bureau exec produced. French helmer Jalil Lespert (“Yves Saint Laurent”) directed the first
See full article at Variety - TV News »

MipTV: ‘Public Enemy’ Tops First MipDrama Screenings

MipTV: ‘Public Enemy’ Tops First MipDrama Screenings
Cannes – Belgian serial killer suspenser “Public Enemy,” one of a clutch of thrillers at the inaugural MipDrama Screenings, won its first Cri de Coeur Award, awarded Sunday on the eve of MipTV in Cannes.

Sold by Zodiak Rights, airing May on Belgian pubcaster Rtbf, and the first TV production of Entre Chien et Loup and Playtime Films, the 10 one-hour-seg “Public Enemy” charts the impact on a community of an ex-child killer’s release from prison. He is given shelter at the local monastery – just as a new wave of child murders breaks out. Some community members want to take justice into their own hands. The female cop on the case is equally conflicted, having had her own younger sister disappear when she was a small girl.

“The series asks: ‘What do you do with monsters like child killers? After a serial killer is released from prison, can we forgive him?
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Zodiak Closes More Deals On ‘Versailles’

Zodiak Closes More Deals On ‘Versailles’
Paris– Zodiak Rights has locked further deals on “Versailles,” Simon Mirren and David Wolstencroft’s period series which scored hit ratings on Canal Plus.

The English-language series was picked up by Scandinavian premium pay service C More for Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, Rtbf for French-speaking Belgium and Vrt for Flemish-speaking Belgium which will air the show on its primary channel Eén. More sales were inked with Sky Germany, Nc+ in Poland and Btv Media Group in Bulgaria, among other territories.

Versailles” pre-sold to Germany’s SquareOne Entertainment and BBC II in the U.K. which will air the first season in 2016.

The first episode of “Versailles,” which is directed by Jalil Lespert, attracted 1.07 million viewers on Canal Plus, reaping a 3.9% share of all audiences in France. Produced by Zodiak Fiction, Capa Drama and Incendo, bowed onseries broke ratings record for an original drama on Canal Plus since 2013.

The series
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Canal Plus’ Epic Drama ‘Versailles’ Gets Greenlit For Second Season (Exclusive)

Canal Plus’ Epic Drama ‘Versailles’ Gets Greenlit For Second Season (Exclusive)
Ahead of its November premiere on Canal Plus, “Versailles,” the upscale epic drama penned by David Wolstencroft (“The Escape Artist”) and Simon Mirren (“Criminal Minds”), has been greenlit by the French pay TV giant for a second season.

The 10-episode show is produced by France’s Newen-owned Capa Drama, Zodiak Fiction and Canada’s Incendo and developed and co-produced by Canal Plus’ original creation division. It toplines two rising British stars, Georges Blagden (“Vikings”) in the role of Louis Xiv and Alexander Vlahos in the role of Monsieur, the Sun King’s enigmatic brother.

The 30 million Euros “Versailles” is already garnering strong word-of-mouth and is being promoted as one of Canal Plus’ most ambitious series as well as France’s biggest-budgeted show. The International Emmy Awards hosted an exclusive screening of the series pilot for its members during a board meeting in Versailles. The screening was followed by a panel
See full article at Variety - TV News »

French Train Shooting: Actor Sounds Alarm; Two Seriously Wounded

French Train Shooting: Actor Sounds Alarm; Two Seriously Wounded
Two American servicemen were responsible for subduing a man who looked to be preparing to shoot up a high speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris. Just after 6 p.m. Friday, the servicemen were seriously injured, while well-known French actor Jean-Hugues Anglade suffered a minor injury from broken glass that occurred while he was activating the alarm.

According to numerous reports, two Americans, possibly Marines or National Guard members, intervened and took down the gunman, who has been arrested. Both servicemen were injured as a result, one by the attacker’s handgun. The White House released a statement thanking the service members for subduing the attacker.

“While the investigation into the attack is in its early stages, it is clear that their heroic actions may have prevented a far worse tragedy,” the statement said.

The Thalys train was travelling through Belgium when the incident occurred, and was then diverted to the French town of Arras.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

French Train Shooting: Actor Sounds Alarm; Two Seriously Wounded

French Train Shooting: Actor Sounds Alarm; Two Seriously Wounded
Two American servicemen were responsible for subduing a man who looked to be preparing to shoot up a high speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris. Just after 6 p.m. Friday, the servicemen were seriously injured, while well-known French actor Jean-Hugues Anglade suffered a minor injury from broken glass that occurred while he was activating the alarm.

According to numerous reports, two Americans, possibly Marines or National Guard members, intervened and took down the gunman, who has been arrested. Both servicemen were injured as a result, one by the attacker’s handgun. The White House released a statement thanking the service members for subduing the attacker.

“While the investigation into the attack is in its early stages, it is clear that their heroic actions may have prevented a far worse tragedy,” the statement said.

The Thalys train was travelling through Belgium when the incident occurred, and was then diverted to the French town of Arras.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Mip TV: Studiocanal Introduces ‘Section Zéro” Onto International Market (Exclusive)

Cannes – Linking three of the Europe’s biggest film-tv companies, Studiocanal has acquired international sales rights to Olivier Marchal’s “Section Zéro,” one of France’s most-anticipated high-end TV dramas, which is produced by Luc Besson’s France-u.S. studio EuropaCorp and France’s Canal Plus, forming part of its original programming lineup.

Set in 2024, as an elite cop squad battles big corporations and their droids, “Zéro” marks the comeback as a showrunner-director of Marchal, whose hard-boiled cop skein “Braquo,” another Canal Plus original series, proved a milestone for Gallic TV production, taking it to U.S. cable terrain.

Described by Rodolphe Buet, Studiocanal’s new president of international marketing and distribution, as “a mix of ‘Fargo,’ ‘The Returned,’ and ‘The Mad Max Trilogy,’” “Section Zéro,” Canal Plus’ first futuristic skein, looks in other ways toward the future.

On March 10, Studiocanal announced the launch of its own TV sales operation,
See full article at Variety - TV News »
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