You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Vivendi’s Canal Plus Group Creates Film Division

Key appointments aimed at accelerating drive into content ownership in France, as Studiocanal readies a film-TV production unit

BERLIN — Vivendi-owned Canal Plus Group, Europe’s second largest pay TV operator and owner of Studiocanal, the European production-distribution powerhouse, has made key promotions and appointments in a drive to ramp up its premium content production and ownership,.

Maxime Saada, CEO of the Canal Plus Group, has been appointed chairman of Studiocanal. With Studiocanal CEO Didier Lupfer already reporting to Saada, and Studiocanal a fully-owned CPG affiliate, the promotion is more a question of clarifying oversight and responsibility with Saada directly taking up the reins of Studiocanal.

Remaining CEO of Studiocanal, Lupfer has been named Group SVP of Cinema, handling all movie activities at Canal Plus and Studiocanal. Again, he reports to Saada. Meanwhile, movie and TV sales for France will now be handled by the team led by Anna Marsh, Studiocanal EVP international distribution.

In further moves, Nicolas Dumont is joining Studiocanal as head of film production and distribution in France. He previously served as head of French film acquisitions at Canal Plus. Laurent Hassid, currently head of foreign film acquisitions, will take on the extra responsibility of heading up French film acquisitions, remaining based out of Canal Plus but reporting to Lupfer.

The moves not only streamline decision-making as Vivendi chairman Vincent Bolloré insists on more synergies between Vivendi companies, but are preparation for the launch of a film-TV drama production unit in France, under Studiocanal umbrella, which will produce for both Canal Plus and third-party buyers in and outside France and, crucially, allow Canal Plus and Studiocanal to own far more of what it broadcasts or sells.

Currently, Studiocanal co-produces films outside France, such “Paddington 2,” but has traditionally co-financed inside France. Canal Plus commissions to an independent company, finances up to 90% of budget and airs prestigious Creations Originales series. But in the past it can own very little of their IP. Vivendi’s mantra under Bolloré is, however, to produce and own more, acquire less.

Lupfer, Dumont and veteran director-producer and comedian Dominique Farrugia, named co-managing director of productions at Studiocanal look set to play key roles at the production unit which in TV, looks likely to focus on producing in-house drama.

Canal Plus will continue – and indeed is required by law – to commission to dramas to independent production companies but will attempt to retain a larger share of their ownership, which has become a Vivendi mantra.

More Film

  • 'Who Will Write Our History' Review:

    Film Review: 'Who Will Write Our History'

    The most famous diarist of the Holocaust, Anne Frank, began to write down the drama of her daily life with no ulterior motive (apart from her teenage ambition to write fiction). But in March 1944, the year before she died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, she heard a radio broadcast by a member of the [...]

  • Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer

    Film News Roundup: 'Spider-Man: Far From Home' Trailer Sets Sony Pictures Record

    In today’s film news roundup, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” sets a studio record, Chris Meledandri and Glenn Close are honored, an art-house streaming service is unveiled, and “Cliffs of Freedom” gets a release. TRAILER STATS The first “Spider-Man: Far From Home” trailer has set a record as the biggest digital launch in Sony Pictures history [...]

  • Frank Grillo Hell on the Border

    Frank Grillo to Star in the Thriller 'Hell on the Border'

    Frank Grillo is set to star in the action-thriller “Hell on the Border” with Wes Miller directing. Miller also penned the script with Curtis Nichouls, Henry Penzi, and Sasha Yelaun producing. Ron Perlman is also on board to co-star. Plot details are unknown at this time. Production is currently underway in Birmingham, Ala. Grillo has [...]

  • Lee Unkrich Variety Oscars Nominees Lunch

    'Toy Story 3,' 'Coco' Director Lee Unkrich to Exit Pixar After 25 Years

    Lee Unkrich, who won Academy Awards for “Toy Story 3” and “Coco,” is departing Pixar Animation Studios after 25 years to spend more time with his family. Unkrich joined Pixar in 1994 after working as an assistant editor in television on “Silk Stalkings” and “Renegade.” He served as editor on Pixar’s first feature, 1995’s “Toy [...]

  • Velvet Buzzsaw trailer

    Netflix Original Movies: What to Look Forward To in 2019

    Following the biggest fourth-quarter worldwide subscriber gain ever and some controversy around increased prices in the U.S., Netflix looks to keep its momentum going into 2019. From Jan. 18 through March, the streaming site will release 10 original films, including action-packed thrillers, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi, quirky comedies, inspirational dramas, an artistic horror movie and a viral [...]

  • Third 'Fantastic Beasts' Production Start Pushed

    Third 'Fantastic Beasts' Production Start Pushed Back Several Months

    Warner Bros. is pushing back the production start date of its third “Fantastic Beasts” movie several months from July to the late fall, a spokesperson said Friday. Actors have been notified about the change in dates. The untitled third “Fantastic Beasts” movie has not yet set a release date. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find [...]

  • The Beatles Eight Days a Week

    Imagine's Documentary Arm Sets First-Look Pact With Apple (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries has set a first-look pact with Apple to develop non-fiction features and series. The deal comes as Imagine is investing heavily in the premium non-fiction arena. The company in June recruited RadicalMedia veteran Justin Wilkes to head Imagine Documentaries as president. The deal suggests that Apple sees docu [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content