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PARIS– Fleur Pellerin, France’s former minister of culture and communication, will preside the inaugural edition of the International Cannes Festival of Series in 2018.

As previously announced, the festival will run alongside MipTV, the Cannes-set global TV showcase.

“There are no leading international events about TV series, even though this form of production has become very important in the realm of creative and broadcasting production. As minister of culture, I wanted France to take on the opportunity and create a reference in that field,” said Pellerin, who had in fact initiated discussions with Series Mania in Paris to expand the event into an international festival dedicated to TV drama when she was culture minister, in 2015.

Pellerin said the mayor of Cannes, David Lisnard, had been working on this idea of launching an international series festival for many years.

“The grand project that (Lisnard) is offering today is therefore the result of a profound reflection on both the artistic and the logistic sides,” argued Pellerin, who is also the founder of Korelya Capital Investment funds.

Lisnard, meanwhile, said “Fleur Pellerin was immediately receptive to the idea of this festival. She was the first to grasp its importance for France and its cultural promotion.”

“(Pellerin) combines three skills particularly relevant to the presidency of the association which is organizing our Festival: her excellent knowledge of the cultural scene, her entrepreneurial experience, and her international approach,” explained Lisnard.

The festival will be organized in partnership with two strong backers: Reed Midem, the org behind MipTV and Mipcom, as well as French pay TV giant Canal Plus Group.

Details of the first edition of the International Cannes Festival of Series will be unveiled on April 3 during MipTV.