Former Canal Plus CEO to Preside Over Series Mania Festival in Northern France

Rodolphe Belmer, the former CEO of Canal Plus Group, has been named president of Series Mania Lille-Haut de France, the festival dedicated to international series which is moving from Paris to Northern France in 2018.

A well-connected industry figure, Belmer held different jobs at Canal Plus Group during his 14-year tenure and became CEO of the pay-TV group in 2012. He was ousted in 2015, when Vivendi’s chairman Vincent Bolloré took full reins of the company.

Under Belmer’s leadership, Canal Plus started creating ambitious, internationally-driven drama series – such as “Spiral,” “The Returned,” “Borgia” and “Braquo” – and developed an editorial line focusing on thought-provoking programs.

At Series Mania Lille-Haut de France, Belmer will work alongside Xavier Bertrand, the prefect of the Hauts-de-France region, as well as the team behind the Series Mania initiative: Laurence Herszberg, the festival’s founder, and Frederic Lavigne, the artistic director. After eight editions in Paris, Series Mania has become a hot stop on the TV circuit; how it will weather its move to industrial Lille remains to be seen.

Bertrand called Belmer “a well-respected professional, not only in France but also overseas, notably in the U.S.” Herszberg said that while at Canal Plus, Belmer was able to “anticipate and grasp very early on the impact series could have on the promotion of France’s creative industries and talent abroad.”

Series Mania Lille-Haut de Seine will take place Apr. 27 to May 5, a couple weeks after Canneseries, another festival dedicated to series which will run alongside MipTV.

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