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INDUSTRY / MARKET France

Netflix continues to splash the cash on French films

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- The US platform has just acquired The Swarm by Just Philippot, following its purchase of Maïwenn’s DNA and Olivier Marchal’s Bronx

Netflix continues to splash the cash on French films
The Swarm by Just Philippot

While negotiations, lobbying and a raft of influencing strategies rage on behind the scenes in anticipation of the introduction of obligations on SVOD platforms  (Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, etc.) to fund and exhibit French and European productions - which will come into force on 1 January 2021 with the upcoming transposition into law of the European Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), an event which will no doubt entail a revision of media chronology windows - Netflix (which boasts 6.7 subscribers in France) is displaying a heightened interest in French films.

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Indeed, the platform has just acquired (from Wild Bunch) worldwide rights (excluding France, Spain and China) for Just Philippot’s The Swarm [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Just Philippot
film profile
]
, a debut feature film awarded the Critics’ Week label by the 2020 Cannes Film Festival. Produced by Capricci and The Jokers, this film starring Suliane Brahim (Black Spot), delving into the fantastical, and even the horror genre, will be released in French cinemas on 4 November and in Spain on 20 November. Its unveiling on Netflix is set for 4 December.

Two weeks ago, meanwhile, Netflix acquired the rights to Maïwenn’s DNA [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
for the planet’s English-language territories (USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, South African and the Middle East). Awarded the Official Selection label by the Cannes Film Festival and screened in both Deauville and San Sebastian (within the Perlak section), this Why Not production, which is likewise sold by Wild Bunch, will be released in France on 28 October, courtesy of Le Pacte.

Back in July, it was Rogue City [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Olivier Marchal (36 [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Carbon [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) - a thriller thrusting the viewer right to the heart of police corruption and gang wars in Marseille - which fell into Netflix’s hands, after the producer Gaumont sold worldwide rights for the film to the platform, which will subsequently launch the work on 30 October.

In terms of direct investments in production, this summer saw Netflix commit resources to Oxygen [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(working title: O2), by Alexandre Aja (Crawl, High Tension), a survival film starring the likes of Mélanie Laurent, Mathieu Amalric and Malik Zidi. Penned by Christie LeBlanc, the story revolves around a woman who wakes up in a cryogenic pod. Alone, enclosed and suffering from amnesia, she will need to decipher the reason for her presence in this establishment and escape within 90 minutes, before her oxygen supply runs out. Now in post-production, the film is steered by Getaway Films (a firm overseen by Brahim Chioua in league with Vincent Maraval and Noëmie Devide).

The end of July also saw Netflix commit advance resources to David Charhon’s Le dernier mercenaire, a French-language action comedy starring Belgium’s Jean-Claude Van Damme in the lead role. This Netflix Originals production follows in the footsteps of Guillaume Pierret’s Lost Bullet [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(which proved a great hit in the summer) and Julien Leclercq’s Earth and Blood [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Julien Leclercq
film profile
]
(released on the platform back in April), confirming the platform’s clear predilection for genre cinema. It’s an inclination representing an interesting opportunity for French filmmakers (as, generally speaking, these kinds of films aren’t highly valued by traditional French financers, TV networks or other cinema distributors), but which also runs the risk of an overall lack of diversity. It’s a situation worth watching…

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(Translated from French)

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