The news had the effect of a bomb in the middle of the cinema: Entertainment One interrupts the distribution of films in Canadian theaters. This abrupt decision has a direct impact on Les Films Sevilla, a subsidiary of eOne, many of whose employees have had to be fired and leave their offices on rue Saint-Antoine. Since merging with Alliance Vivafilm 10 years ago, Les Films Seville has been the great leader in the distribution of films in Quebec.
Posted yesterday at 22:29
Confirming the news a The print, Patrick Roy, president of Seville Films and president of Entertainment One’s theatrical distribution, did not reveal many details. The latter leaves his duties, his contract expired this week.
“Seville continues to exist,” he said. Some employees keep their jobs, particularly in the technical and financial sectors. There is also still a team in place for catalog management. The changes announced on Tuesday are for theatrical release only. ”
According to the commercial register, Les Films Sevilla has between 50 and 99 employees in Quebec.
Furthermore, it was impossible for us to obtain a statement from eOne on the reasons that led the company to this decision, taken at the top.
Recall that in 2019, shortly before the pandemic, the company Hasbro acquired Entertainment One for about 4 billion dollars. The pandemic has had a profound impact on the film industry.
On Monday evening at the Place des Arts, in front of a crowd of guests, Les Films Sevilla presented its latest Quebec film, the comedy-drama Lines of escape by Catherine Chabot and Miriam Bouchard. The film was also presented Tuesday night in Quebec at the Le Clap cinema. For a while in the late afternoon on Tuesday it was rumored that this presentation would not take place, but with verification, the film was presented as planned. Furthermore, its release, starting July 6 in several Quebec cinemas, is not compromised, we are told. All contracts will be honored.
Shock, but …
In the world of manufacturing and distribution on Tuesday, this announcement was met with a mixture of shock and sadness, but also with restrained amazement. Observers in the environment could clearly see that something was happening.
“When we found out that Patrick [Roy] it wasn’t at the Cannes Film Festival, we asked ourselves some questions, “said producer and distributor Christian Larouche (Films Opale), who worked closely with Seville.” We were looking at their slate of upcoming films and there is no it was a lot. But I find it very sad to see what is happening, for this old company and for the employees. When a colleague has difficulties, it is never good news. ”
Mr. Larouche knows what he is talking about. His company ran into significant financial difficulties in the early 2010s and Seville bought his Quebec film catalog. Mr Larouche intends to recover his titles when Sevilla’s rights expire. “I think I still have 15 to 20 titles in their catalog,” he said.
“I’m very sad, said producer André Rouleau (Caramel Films). It’s not good news for manufacturers to have one less distributor. “
I can’t say it was a big surprise. For some time it was felt that Seville’s appetite for theatrical distribution of films was waning.
André Rouleau, producer
Mr. Rouleau gives the example of the animated film Valiant (The bravest), which he co-produced and which Sevilla have distributed in an extremely limited register in the country.
” With Valiantwe have had great success in France [1,5 million d’entrées] and Sevilla didn’t even want to distribute it theatrically here, he complained. I think he has made three cinemas in Canada; this is called a technical exit. Theater owners have been waiting for this movie. They wanted it. Sevilla bought it from us, paid for it and sold it on television. We had been given a distribution guarantee with advertising, but in the end the major shareholders did not want to put an extra penny for theatrical distribution. ”
Nancy Florence Savard, who produces animated films with her box 10And Ave Productions in Quebec, for its part, believes Seville paved the way for 3D animated films in Quebec. “Patrick Roy and his team were pioneers The legend of Sarila released in 2013, he said. They did it again with Nelly and Simon: Mission Yeti in 2018 and a few weeks ago they were selling our movies on Netflix. It is with great sadness that I hear this news and think of all the members of this passionate team dedicated to Quebec cinematography. ”
A giant from Quebec
Seville Films was born at the end of 1999 following the purchase of the catalog from Behavior, a distributor who had in turn purchased the Malofilm Group catalog (The decline of the American empire). In an interview with Mustone of the three investors, Pierre Brousseau, indicated that one of the first released films would be Wines of Bagno (they became rebels/Lost and delusional in English) by Léa Pool.
The company was acquired by eOne in 2007. In 2012, eOne bought Alliance Vivafilm and merged the two distributors, which have taken the name of Les Films Sevilla. The catalog, consisting of Quebec, Canadian and international films, mostly fiction, but also documentaries, is impressive.
From the Quebec film industry, Seville will ensure the distribution of titles such as 10 1/2, 1987, The seven days of retaliation, mommy, The dismantling, Fires, Insha’Allah, Mafia Inc., The realm of beauty, Louis Cyr: the strongest man in the world, Gabriella, etc. Among the international titles, let’s make the name Divergence, The hunger games, John Wick, Paddington And Dusk.
Patrick Roy agrees that the distributor still has several titles coming up for Quebec that he’s committed to. “There is a responsibility to respect and there is no need to worry about any of that,” he says. There will be no negative impacts on the films and producers we work with. ”