European Arthouse Movie Channel, Streaming Service Expands to Belgium, Netherlands

Arthouse and festival film fans in Belgium and the Netherlands will get a new service this week with the launch of the Film Europe Channel.

The linear channel and streaming service will launch Tuesday on Canal Digitaal in the Netherlands and TV Vlaanderen in Belgium, both pay-TV platforms owned by the M7 Group.

Film Europe Channel was established in Eastern Europe in 2009 and is programmed with festival and arthouse films from around Europe.

Titles on the channel include Paolo Sorrentino’s Oscar winner “The Great Beauty,” Abdellatif Kechiche’s 2013 Palme d’Or winner “Blue Is the Warmest Colour,” and 2015 winner “Dheepan” from France’s Jacques Audiard.

Film Europe also runs movie events, including Kino Film Europe in Bratislava and Crème de la Crème and the Be2Can in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, which show films from the major European festivals.

The company, which also handles theatrical distribution in central Europe, would like to expand to Scandinavia if the Benelux launch goes well, said Ivan Hronec, Film Europe’s founder.

“My feeling is we should go to territories that are comfortable with subtitles, so France and Germany would be tough, but Scandinavia would be interesting,” he said.

He added that the Film Europe business has been built without public subsidies and has provided a new outlet for festival movies in Europe. “High-quality films are no longer the monopoly of state-supported festivals and television channels,” he said.

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