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Paris springs to pix

Vet exec Meunier hangs prod'n/sales shingle

PARIS — Gilles Meunier, veteran sales and acquisition exec who has worked for Fox, TF1 and Canal Plus, has set up his own production and sales company, Paris Pictures.

The entity will co-produce, co-finance and sell films and television programs, per Meunier, who has the distinction of being the first non-American to be voted onto the board of NATPE.

For the past three years, Meunier, 49, has headed international acquisitions designed to feed Canal Plus’ sizable film library. Prior to that, he was responsible for buying drama for France’s leading terrestrial broadcaster TF1. From 1980 to 1990 he was in charge of TV sales in South Europe for Fox.

Seeking U.S. partners

“It’s clear that American independent producers are increasingly looking for co-production partners in Europe,” Meunier told Daily Variety. “Having spent so many years acquiring from those producers, I have the contacts, while my years with Fox gave me the sales experience.”

Meunier now intends to head to the States in search of material.

“The idea is to find projects which are not fully financed and bring the remainder of the budget either via European co-production partners or by preselling projects internationally through Paris Pictures. The fact that I am a production company based in France also gives me access to the various public film funds available in Paris.”

While his first business trip will be across the Atlantic, Meunier insists he will also be looking to co-produce European projects. “English-language films are perhaps easier to sell internationally but Paris Pictures won’t be exclusively dealing in English.”

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