Amazon Prime Video has come a long way since launching in France in 2016. The streamer, whose first French original film The Mad Women’s Ball recently won an International Emmy Award, unveiled a landmark deal with French guilds of industry players and talent during a posh dinner on Wednesday night (Nov. 30) in Paris.
The guest list at the chic Lutetia Hotel featured a slew of Prime Video talent, including Philippe Lacheau (“LOL”), Franck Gastambide (“Medellin”), Eloise Lang (“La Graine”) and Melha Bedia (“Miskina”), Ziad Doueiri (“Coeurs Noirs”), and producers Alain Goldman, Pathé Films’ Ardavan Safaee, Mandarin’s Eric Altmayer, CG Cinema’s Charles Gillibert, Metropolitan FilmExport’s Victor Hadida, Newen’s Romain Bessi and Newen’s Gaspard Asasha Group de Chavagnac, among many others.
As announced by Brigitte Ricou-Bellan, Country Manager of Prime Video in France, the four-year contract has been signed with the guilds AnimFrance, SATEV, SEDPA, SPI, USPA and SACD, representing all areas of French TV production, including animation, documentary and live shows.
This new deal will complement the agreement Prime Video previously signed with the French Broadcasting Authority (CSA) to begin investing 20% of its annual revenue in French content alongside Netflix, Disney+ and Apple TV+. This resulted from the implementation of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) put forward by the European Commission.
Iris Bucher, the new USPA president, who took the stage alongside Ricou-Bellan to announce the deal, said she will ensure Prime Video spreads its wealth across different types of programming, including animation, documentaries and live spectacle. Prime Video participates in the financing of these titles, just as it does with feature films or feature films. Netflix is currently in negotiations to sign the same deal.
Ricou-Bellan said the agreement “reflects the parties’ shared vision to promote the diversity, renewal and impact of French audiovisual creation”.
Prime Video also showcased its star-studded slate of programming, including both originals and acquisitions, helmed by Thomas Dubois and Sahar Baghery respectively.
Dubois shared the stage with Elsa Rodde, a respected lawyer-turned-producer (“Rose”), who recently joined Prime Video as Director of Scripts and Films for France, and Benjamin Ferel, who heads non-scripts.
The list of new originals includes “Killer Coaster” and “Sentinelle”. The latter is a new Amazon Original comedy starring Jonathan Cohen, Raphaël Quenard, Emmanuelle Bercot, Ramzy Bedia and Gustave Kervern. The film tells the story of François Sentinelle, who has two lives. By day, he’s the most famous policeman on Reunion Island, known for his tough methods and flowered shirts, and he’s pursuing criminals in his famous yellow defender. But Sentinelle is also a charming singer. Sentinelle is produced by 22h22 and Les Films between 2 and 4.
“Killer Coaster”, on the other hand, is a series starring Alexandra Lamy, Audrey Lamy and Chloé Jouannet. The series was created and written by Thomas Mansuy and Nikola Lange, who also directs. Killer Coaster is produced by Vacarme, which is part of Kabo Productions, owned by Asacha Media Group.
Both Killer Coaster and Sentinelle will launch exclusively on Prime Video in 2023 in 240 countries and territories.
Following the success of ‘LOL’, the French adaptation of the hit international format hosted by Lacheau, Prime Video is also ramping up production on several unscripted shows including the second season of ‘Celebrity Hunted’ starring the likes of Jean Dujardin and Adele Exarchopoulos .
On stage, Dubois also pointed out the score of the Amazon original film Overdose, which was directed by Olivier Marchal and produced by Gaumont. The thriller launched on November 4th and is currently the most watched non-English Amazon Original content worldwide in Prime Video history.
Meanwhile, Baghery, who was appointed Prime Video’s Head of Content Acquisition in France in June, unveiled exclusive new films with clips including “La Graine,” a contemporary comedy-drama directed by Eloise Lang and starring Marie Papillon, Stacy Martin and Francois in the lead roles Damiens; and “Drones Games,” a youth film directed by Olivier Abbou (“Les Papillons Noirs”) and starring Angele Metzger, Orlando Vauthier, Alice Belaidi and Grégoire Colin.
Drones Games tells the story of Tom, a lonely teenager and drone enthusiast who meets an anarchist gang and gets caught up in a series of heists. The film is being produced by White Lion Films at Mediawan and Jack N’a Qu’un Oeil. It will be released exclusively in France on Prime Video in 2023.
“La Graine”, produced by Pathé and Les Films du Cap, tells the story of Lucie and Ines who love each other and want a child. After five attempts at assisted reproduction, they travel to Belgium for a final test and embark on a comedic journey to find the seed. La Graine will be released exclusively in France on Prime Video in 2023.
Baghery also presented a trailer for Coeurs Noirs, the new series directed by Doueiri, the Franco-Lebanese filmmaker behind the Oscar-nominated film The Insult, who made his TV debut with the hit series Baron Noir. Coeurs Noirs, produced by Mandarin Television, centers on French special forces fighting ISIS.
The executive, whose team recently landed two deals with Warner Bros. Discovery and Sony to bolster its program in France with select premium titles, said she’s interested in working on all kinds of projects at different stages, from development to post-production to participate. Even at the script stage, the acquisition model allows producers “to keep the intellectual property,” said Baghery, who added that the streamer is also looking to partner with French channels and television groups to take part in ambitious series. A recent example of this type of collaboration is “Coeurs Noirs”, funded by Prime Video and France Televisions.
https://variety.com/2022/tv/global/amazon-prime-video-french-guilds-slate-2023-1235445822/ Prime Video signs pact with French guilds and reveals star-studded Slate