Television Business International

New SVOD movies service for French launch

Digital-headere-cinema.comA new French movies-on-demand service, e-cinema.com, will launch on October 20, bringing international movies not shown in French cinemas to internet users.

The service, created by Altantis Télévision CEO Frédéric Houzelle, online entrepreneur Roland Coutas and Bruno Barde, details of which were unveiled at the Deauville American film festival, is intended as a “complement” to theatrical moviegoing, according to the venture’s backers.

The platform will make a new film available each Friday at 2pm, adding to a small existing catalogue of about 20 titles that have never been released in France.

e-cinema.com intends to differentiate its offering from rivals with more extensive catalogues by a strong emphasis on editorial choice, focusing on independent films that typically will air primarily on the festival circuit. Films will be made available in their French version without advertising.

By focusing exclusively on movies not released theatrically in France, e-cinema.com will avoid the country’s strict windowing rules that prevent movies from being made available on SVOD platforms for three years after their cinema showing.

e-cinema.com will be available on Apple TV, iPhone and iPad at launch, with Android and Chromecast to follow by the end of the year. Films will be available for €5.99 (US$7.15) each, with the right to replay a move for five days, with a subscription offering available for €9.99 a month.

The venture’s backers also envisage investing in original French movies in the 2019 timeframe, with budgets of between €1.5 million and €2.5 million.

Movies available in the initial line-up include Iran’s Paradise, thriller Killing Ground, Deauville entrant My Friend Dahmer and Takeshi Kitano’s Outrage Coda.

A weekly half-hour magazine will air on the platform, presented by journalist Audrey Pulvar.