PARIS – Canal Plus, the Vivendi-owned pay-TV giant, is set to partner with Cannes’ international series festival for its first edition, which will take place in 2018.

The new festival, which was initiated by Cannes Mayor David Lisnard, is also being backed by Reed Midem, the organization behind two of the world’s biggest TV showcases, both of which are set in Cannes: Mipcom and MipTV.

The new series festival will run alongside MipTV, which takes place in April, barely a month before the Cannes Film Festival. Canal Plus is also a long-time partner of the film fest.

“The Canal Plus Group is happy to form this partnership with this series festival and continue its collaboration with the city of Cannes, which it has been close to for the last 30 years with respect to cinema via Cannes Film Festival,” said Maxime Saada, managing director of Canal Plus. “With this new partnership, Canal Plus Group strengthens its position as a major actor of French and European audiovisual creation while contributing to its flourishing.”

The partnership with Canal Plus marks a giant leap forward for the initiative, which won’t likely get any public subsidies. The Cannes series festival steals a march on the French government, which is also prepping an international series festival and eliminated Cannes from its list of potential host cities. Lille and Paris have been short-listed by a specially appointed panel.

Lisnard had warned the government last week that Cannes would go ahead with its own plans for a TV festival regardless of what the government chooses to do.

“Cannes firms up its ambition to become a world hub for industry professionals working on the creation and distribution of cultural content, including audiovisual content,” said Lisnard in a statement.