Seville Films, which was Quebec’s largest distributor of films until it changed its mandate in June, will have a replacement. The company, whose name will be revealed in the coming weeks, will be led by Patrick Roy, who was until recently President of Seville Films.
Posted at 5:16 p.m
Updated at 6:30 p.m
It’s therefore a breath of fresh air for Quebec cinema, which has been stripped of its core distribution, as Entertainment One, owned by entertainment giant Hasbro, announced it will stop distributing films theatrically in Canada to better focus on production .
The cry for help from the film community has therefore been heard, as funding for the new venture comes through agreements with the Government of Quebec, through its agent Investissement Quebec, Montreal’s Regional Solidarity Funds FTQ, the National Bank of Canada and the Society for the Development of Cultural Enterprises (SODEC). “The government has understood that it is important,” says Patrick Roy. SODEC’s budget has increased, but when there are more films, you need distributors, and that was clear. I have therefore been very busy this summer putting together a financial file and I am very happy to have reached an agreement. Our plan convinced them to embark on the adventure. »
In search of balance
The first films to be distributed by the new entity, as well as the staff who will support Patrick Roy, will be known soon, but expect the company to come to fill the void left by Seville Films.
There are still multiple distributors in Quebec, but each has its niche, says Mr. Roy. I’ll take over because I still have the same taste in cinema, I’ll make the same purchases as I did when I was in Seville.
In particular, the entrepreneur could count on the crowds in the cinemas moving again. “We’re not back in a normal market, but we’re not far from it,” he says. I’ve spoken to many theater owners and they claim attendance is 92% of pre-pandemic attendance. It’s okay, so I’m confident. However, the new company does not only want to focus on theatrical distribution of films: “There is currently a strong demand for content, whether TV or cinema. We are looking for a balance between the different platforms, because if the box office receipts are below expectations, they can be balanced thanks to the other distribution windows. »
As such, the company will eventually need to replenish its catalog of titles, a long-term goal, says Patrick Roy, who could benefit from his years of experience and excellent relationships – he also stresses they remain on an excellent rapport. with Sevilla Films, Entertainment One and Hasbro.
Seville Films was formed in 1999 after acquiring the catalog from Behavior, a distributor that had itself bought Groupe Malo’s catalogue, and had acquired an impressive catalog of Quebec films, particularly following its merger with Alliance Vivafilm in 2012.