You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Lumière Festival: Restorations ‘Non-Negotiable’ for Video Streaming Deals, Says Gaumont’s Jérôme Soulet

And slow local SVOD service growth in France bedevils the future if French heritage films, the French executive argued in a keynote address on the first day of the Lumière Festival’s International Classic Film Market

LYON, France  — With U.S. video streaming platforms advancing across Europe and the rest of the world, restorations are a necessity if French film distributors want to ensure a future for their heritage film libraries, Jérôme Soulet, head of video, television and new media at Gaumont, said in his keynote address at the first day of the Lumière Festival’s International Classic Film Market.

“If you want to sign an agreement with a platform, an HD restoration is necessary, otherwise they won’t do it; it’s non-negotiable,” he added.

Soulet shared his views on the challenges facing heritage film in market increasingly dominated by U.S. SVOD platforms.

Despite a rich film history, France’s heritage market is facing an uncertain future due to the country’s dearth of domestic video streaming services, Soulet said.

Soulet, joined by industry analyst Pascal Lechevallier, presented sobering statistics and warned that French distributors needed to take concrete steps to ensure a digital future for their heritage libraries.

French TV viewing habits have resulted in slow growth of streaming services and likely prevented homegrown platforms from springing up.

Currently, only 45.3% of French households have at least one streaming video service, compared to 52.2% in Germany, 58.9% in the U.K. and a whopping 78.6% in the U.S. Indeed, compared to Germany, the U.K., South Korea, India and the U.S., France has the highest percentage of households with no SVOD service (54.7%).

According to Digital TV Research, only 25% of French TV households will have SVOD by 2022, on par with Switzerland and well above Spain (14.2%), Portugal (18.5%) and Malta (20.1%), but far below the Netherlands (62%), the U.K. (70%), Sweden, Denmark (74.4%) and Norway (76.6%).

Lechevallier warned that the forecast for the French market is not going in the right direction, “which means our heritage films will not be seen unless they are on these streaming channels.”

At the same time, the main players are not European, making it difficult for French heritage films.

“France missed the opportunity to develop an SVOD offering,” Soulet added.

Soulet pointed out that at the moment, global Internet ad spend, at around $200 billion, has surpassed that of television, citing data from Kleiner Perkins and Zenith Media.

Traditional TV broadcasters will be having increasing difficulties justifying the acquisition of heritage films as advertising continues to drop, Lechevallier said, adding that producers and distributors will have to increasingly deal with U.S. players like Netflix and Amazon.

Local distributors have to restore heritage films if they want a viable opportunity at selling them to SVOD platforms, Soulet urged.

This year’s market is also examining the state of heritage cinema in other territories as part of its European Panorama section, including Greece, Hungary and the Baltic countries.

“France already has a strong position in heritage cinema,” said market project manager Gérald Duchaussoy. “We have a lot of companies, we have a lot of laboratories compared to other countries, many DVD and Blu-ray publishers, so the situation is very different from the rest of the world, especially in other parts of Europe.”

The ICFM market has sought to give distributors and DVD publishers from other European countries with medium or low production capacity the opportunity to attend the market and establish connections, Duchaussoy added.

In addition, the market has launched a new addition to its website that will be updated daily with increased media coverage of market events, including videos, live broadcasts and an archive.

More Film

  • Mindy Kaling photographed by Victoria Stevens

    Mindy Kaling Created Her Own Opportunities (and Doesn't Plan on Stopping)

    Over the course of two hit sitcoms, a couple of best-selling books and some scene-stealing turns in Hollywood blockbusters such as “Ocean’s 8” and “Inside Out,” Mindy Kaling has cultivated an image as a kinder, gentler and more relatable star than most. On Instagram or Twitter, where she routinely shares parenting anecdotes and restaurant recommendations, [...]

  • Jimi Hendrix sound check Monterey Pop

    Film Constellation Adds ‘Show Me the Picture’ to Berlin Market Slate (EXCLUSIVE)

    London-based sales and financing house Film Constellation has added Alfred George Bailey’s feature documentary “Show Me the Picture: The Story of Jim Marshall” to its Berlin market slate, ahead of the film’s SXSW premiere. Submarine Entertainment is handling distribution in North America. The film charts the life of American photographer James Joseph Marshall, whose work [...]

  • 'Sink or Swim,' 'Custody' Lead Race

    'Sink or Swim,' 'Custody' Lead Race for France's Cesar Awards

    French actor-turned-director Gilles Lellouche’s “Sink or Swim” and Xavier Legrand’s feature debut “Custody” lead the race for this year’s Cesar Awards, France’s equivalent of the Oscars, with 10 nominations each, including best picture and best director. “Sink or Swim” (“Le Grand Bain” in France), a star-driven dramedy about a men’s synchronized swimming team, world-premiered at [...]

  • Face to Face with German Films

    Face to Face with German Films Unveils the Six ‘Faces’ of 2019 (EXCLUSIVE)

    Teutonic promotional organization German Films has announced that its annual initiative supporting German filmmaking internationally, Face to Face With German Films, will focus on actors and actresses as the campaign enters its fourth year. Six of Germany’s leading thesps – Maria Dragus, Christian Friedel, Luise Heyer, Jonas Nay, Jördis Triebel and Fahri Yardim – will [...]

  • (L to R) VIGGO MORTENSEN and

    'Green Book' Lands Post-Oscars Theatrical Release in China

    Fresh off of Tuesday’s news that it had picked up five Academy Award nominations, best-picture nominee “Green Book” is set for more good luck. The film will hit Chinese theaters on March 1, the first weekend after the Oscars, which fall on Feb 24, Alibaba Pictures announced on its official social media account. The film [...]

  • Fan Bingbing

    Chinese Stars, Entertainment Companies Pay $1.7 Billion in Back Taxes

    Chinese film and TV stars and entertainment companies have forked over an additional $1.7 billion (RMB11.7 billion) in taxes in the wake of last summer’s scandal surrounding actress Fan Bingbing and a subsequent government crackdown. The figure was announced late Tuesday by China’s State Tax Administration. Chinese authorities launched a probe into the tax affairs [...]

  • Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marco Graf

    Film News Roundup: AMC, Regal to Leave 'Roma' Out of Best Picture Showcases

    In today’s film news roundup, “Roma” will not be in the best picture showcases at AMC and Regal, “Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church” gets a release and SAG-AFTRA’s David White has a new appointment. ‘ROMA’ SPURNED AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas are leaving Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” out of their upcoming annual showings of the contenders for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content