If our companies fall into the hands of foreign companies, they will inevitably be at the mercy of decisions made abroad. And if the boss strangers decide to shoot the plog, it’s really too bad for us. We have no say.
This has just happened with the decision of the American multinational Hasbro, which has just ordered Les Films Sevilla to close its feature film theatrical distribution service.
Seville Films is a subsidiary of Entertainment One, which the multinational Hasbro, specializing in the sale of games, figures, toys and stuffed animals, acquired in December 2019, just before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, for the sum of an astronomical US$3.8 -Dollar has acquired billions (about 4.8 billion CAD).
The closure of Seville Films is all the more disastrous for Quebec culture because Seville was not only the largest distributor of Quebec films, but is also the distributor with the largest catalog of Quebec feature films.
There is no doubt that the other Quebec distributors will do everything they can to convince producers, used to dealing with Les Films Sevilla, to sell them their next feature films.
This group includes but is not limited to: Opale Films, Maison 4:3, K-Films America, Axia Films, TVA Films, Filmoption International, etc.
The problem ? No existing Quebec distributor has historically invested as much money in the distribution and promotion of Quebec films as Les Films Sevilla.
We will see…
THE FUTURE OF THE CATALOGUE
It is necessary at all costs for the survival of Québec culture to transfer the catalog of Québec films owned by Les Films Sevilla, which also includes the films previously distributed by Alliance Atlantis Vivafilm, into the hands of a Québec company following its merger with to repatriate Seville.
This catalog contains in particular Les Invasions barbares; The Fall of the American Empire; fires; Just the end of the world; Mummy; 14 days, 12 nights; 1987; 1991; Liar ; Good Cop Bad Cop 2; SA ; 1:54; From father to policeman; The dismantling; you sleep Nicole; gabriella; The disappearance of the fireflies; Insha’Allah; Louis Cyr: The Strongest Man Alive; bare feet at dawn; Hochelaga, land of souls; Mafia Inc.; The Great Seduction; Sarah prefers to walk; King David; Combo; My own circus; The Time Tomb, a Review; Etc
We also find Lines of Flight by Myriam Bouchard and Catherine Chabot, the new film by prolific producer of Cinémaginaire Denise Robert, which hits theaters this week.
For a multinational like Hasbro, whose sales of toys and games make up 85.3% of its business ($6.7 billion, just over $8.6 billion Canadian), the catalog of Quebec films from Seville is financially meaningless as peanuts.
But for us in Quebec, this catalog is cultural gold.
And since the production of our films is funded largely with public funds through SODEC (Quebec) and Telefilm (federal government), we have a collective interest in returning the catalog of Quebec films, Sevilla Movies, to within a Quebec society.