You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Olivier Courson, Ex-Studiocanal, Named as Senior Cultural Advisor to French Government

Olivier Courson, the former chairman-CEO of Studiocanal, has been appointed as a senior advisor to the French government on culture, communications and digital regulation.

Courson will advise and, if necessary, arbitrate between ministries on a large portfolio of issues crucial to the future of film and TV in France. He reports to Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, who is responsible for implementing the vision set out by newly elected President Emmanuel Macron.

Courson’s position will give him a say in some of the huge issues that the French government is expected to tackle, led by France’s expansion in the digital domain, a priority for Macron.

The newly appointed culture minister, Françoise Nyssen, has confirmed that she will lead the debate on the challenge posed by Netflix and other digital platforms to France’s hallowed release-window chronology. That issue was thrown into the limelight at the Cannes Film Festival by its selection of two Netflix movies which may never see a theatrical release in France. In France, the timing of release windows is set by law, not just by industry tradition and practice.

Mounir Mahjoubi, a French-Moroccan digital communications expert who previously headed France’s National Digital Council, has been named the government’s minister for digital affairs.

Courson’s job will be to build consensus among the various ministries and government bodies that deal with issues such as competition between digital platforms and other players. Macron is also bidding to develop a European rival to Netflix, which would need coordination at a pan-European level and a strengthening of action against piracy sites.

Courson’s appointment comes after he has spent nearly two years building up his own production company, Ocema Media. Its titles included Jose Padilha’s “Entebbe,” now in post-production and produced by Participant Media and Working Title, as well as a bevy of high-end TV series.

Courson is an alumnus of France’s Ecole Nationale d’Administration, France’s elite training college for government service. He also has 15 years of top-level experience in the private sector as general counsel to pay-TV operator Canal Plus Group and as chairman-CEO of Studiocanal. At both companies, he showed strategic ambition in buying up production-distribution operations in the U.K., Germany and Australia, focusing on such under-served production lines as family entertainment, and moving into TV fiction production with the purchase of Germany’s Tandem in late 2011.

Crucially, under Courson, Studiocanal consolidated production partnerships with some of Europe and the U.S.’ key players – Working Title, David Heyman, Aardman Animations, The Picture Company, Jaume Collet-Serra. Courson left Studiocanal in October 2015 after eight years as chairman-CEO.

He is also no stranger to politics, having served in Prime Minister Lionel Jospin’s government in 2001-02. But pleasing everyone in the French film industry on such a divisive issue as release windows will be a tall order. SVOD distributors and advocates of greater digital distribution chafe against rules that ban the release of movie titles on their services until 36 months after their theatrical bow.

More Digital

  • Google Stadia is a Net Neutrality

    Google Stadia is a Net Neutrality Nightmare

    At the Game Developers Conference (GDC) this year, Google announced that it has taken up the long and ever-lengthening dream of the video game streaming service. Meant to replace the hefty, pricey, altogether confounding experience of buying and using various gaming hardware, Google Stadia will run video games on Google’s own hardware in a server [...]

  • crunchyroll logo

    Crunchyroll Raises Subscription Price to $7.99

    AT&T-owned anime subscription video service Crunchyroll is raising its monthly subscription price from $6.95 to $7.99 a month, it announced in an email to members Friday. It’s the service’s first price increase ever, according to a spokesperson. The new pricing will go into effect on May 1 for new subscribers, while existing members will see [...]

  • StyleHaul

    StyleHaul Shuts Down U.S. Operations, Lays Off About 65 Employees

    The axe is falling on StyleHaul: The fashion, beauty and lifestyle digital media and marketing company owned by RTL Group is shuttering U.S. operations, resulting the layoff of around 65 employees. StyleHaul offices in L.A., with about 55 employees, and in New York City, with around 10 staffers, are closing. RTL said StyleHaul’s U.K. operations, [...]

  • Bandsintown Platform Acquires Hypebot, MusicThinkTank

    Bandsintown Platform Acquires Hypebot, MusicThinkTank

    Bandsintown, a leading platform for letting music fans know about upcoming concerts by their favorite artists, has acquired Hypebot, a news site publishing stories about the music industry and technology, and its sister site MusicThinkTank. “I’m proud to share that Hypebot and MusicThinkTank have been acquired by Bandsintown,” wrote Bruce Houghton, the founder of the [...]

  • Vertigo Games Believes ‘Location-Based Virtual Reality’

    Vertigo Games Believes ‘Location-Based Virtual Reality’ Is Future of VR

    As virtual reality becomes more and more available, many developers are looking for new frontiers to expand the experiences offered by the tech. For Netherlands-based Vertigo Games, that next frontier is what they call “location-based virtual reality.” It’s essentially high-quality VR experiences where players aren’t tethered to a PC or even to the confines of [...]

  • GDC 2019: Google's Play For Gaming

    GDC 2019: Google's Play for Gaming Ubiquity, Rise of Ray Tracing, Store Wars

    The Game Developers Conference finished up Friday evening, wrapping one of the most exciting GDCs in recent memory with Google’s splashy entrance into AAA video gaming, the emergence of real-time ray tracing as a compelling technology for film, TV, and games, and the growing war between two global estore powerhouses: Valve’s Steam and the Epic [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content