Netflix has signed a three-year agreement with French film guilds to invest a minimum of €40 million ($45 million) in the financing of French and European movies which will be released in French theaters.
Netflix previously signed a pact with France’s broadcasting authorities to start investing 20% of their annual revenues on French content, both series and movies, as part of a French decree which stemmed from the implementation of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (Avms).
Tuesday’s milestone agreement will see Netflix investing 4% of its annual revenue made in France on the financing of French and European movies, with at least €30 million invested in French-language movies. All these movies will premiere in French cinemas and will be launched on Netflix 15 months later. Netflix will have an exclusive window on these movies for a duration of seven months.
The pact also has a provision for lower budget films. It features a diversity clause under which Netflix will have to dedicate at least 17% of the €40 million in financing French-language movies with a budget of under €4 million. The streamer will need to invest in a minimum of 10 movies at the pre-financing stage, meaning no later than the commencement of principal photography.
“This agreement is a new step towards our virtuous integration in the unique French cinema ecosystem,” said Netflix in a statement sent to Variety. “It reflects both our constructive contribution to the AVMS negotiation process and our commitment to be part of the French cultural exception.”
To date, Netflix is the first and only streaming service to have signed this agreement with French film orgs, BLIC (Bureau de liaison des industries cinématographiques), BLOC (Bureau de liaison des organisations du cinema) and ARP (Société civile des auteurs réalisateurs producteurs). France is also the only country in Europe to have inked such deal with Netflix or any other platform.
The streamer previously had to wait 36 months to access movies that are theatrically released in France and hopes the current 15-month window will be shortened within the next three years.
Netflix said it will “continue to promote an earlier window to better reflect consumers’ actual viewing habits.”
France’s strict windowing rules have prevented Netflix from world premiering its movies in competition at Cannes since the festival requires every competing film to have a theatrical bow in France.