Exec may drive strategy toward mainstream

Gaul’s film and TV support body Centre National de la Cinematographie has a new president.

Eric Garandeau, who was elected by the board of ministers, will take the helm Jan. 1. Garandeau had been French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s adviser on cultural and audiovisual matters since 2007.

Prior to joining the Elysee, Garandeau worked as the CNC’s financial director. A graduate of ENA, Gaul’s prestigious National Management School, Garandeau had previously worked as advisor to the culture minister Jean-Jacques Aillagon from 2002 to 2004, and worked alongside France Televisions’ president, Marc Tessier, as an official rep, from 2001-02. Garandeau succeeds Veronique Cayla, who left the CNC after a five-year run to become prexy of Franco-German net Arte.

“Garandeau’s profile is more industrial than creative,” said an industry insider. “He will likely encourage the production of high-bracket, more mainstream French films, so we might see fewer arthouse films coming out of France under his presidency.” One of Garandeau’s biggest challenges at the CNC will be to handle the digital conversion of France’s theaters.

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