When our businesses fall into the hands of foreign companies, they inevitably become at the mercy of decisions made abroad. And when the foreign bosses decide to pull the plogue, it's really too bad for us. We don't have a say.
This is what has just happened with the decision of the American multinational Hasbro, which has just ordered Les Films Sevilla to end its theatrical distribution service for feature films.
Seville Films is a subsidiary of Entertainment One, which the multinational Hasbro, specializing in the sale of games, figurines, toys and stuffed animals, acquired in December 2019, just before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, for the sum astronomical US$3.8 billion (over CA$4.8 billion).
The closure of Seville Films is all the more catastrophic for Quebec culture as Seville was not only the largest distributor of Quebec films, but in addition, it is the distributor that holds the largest catalog of Quebec feature films.
There is no doubt that the other Quebec distributors will do everything to try to convince producers who are accustomed to doing business with Seville Films to sell their next feature films to them.
Are, among others, part of this group: Opale Films, Maison 4:3, K-Films America, Axia Films, TVA Films, Filmoption International, etc.
The problem ? None of the existing Quebec distributors has in the past invested as much money in the distribution and promotion of Quebec films as Les Films Sevilla.
THE FUTURE OF THE CATALOG
For the survival of Quebec culture, it is necessary at all costs to repatriate into the hands of a Quebec company the catalog of Quebec feature films held by Les Films Seville, which also includes the films previously distributed by Alliance Atlantis Vivafilm, following its merger with Seville.
This catalog notably includes 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; SAT ; 1:54; From father to cop; The dismantling ; You sleep Nicole; Gabriella; The disappearance of the fireflies; Insha'Allah; Louis Cyr: The Strongest Man in the World; Bare feet in the dawn; Hochelaga, Land of Souls; Mafia Inc.; The Great Seduction; Sarah prefers running; King Dave; Combo; My own circus; The Time-Gripper, A Review; etc
In addition, we find Lines of Flight by Myriam Bouchard and Catherine Chabot, the new film from the prolific producer of Cinémaginaire Denise Robert, which arrives in theaters this week.
For a multinational like Hasbro, whose sale of toys and games represents 85.3% of its business volume (US$6.7 billion, just over CA$8.6 billion), the catalog of Quebec films from Seville is financially nothing but peanuts.
But for us in Quebec, this catalog is worth its weight in cultural gold.
And since the production of our films is largely financed with public funds through SODEC (Quebec) and Telefilm (federal), we have a collective interest in repatriating within a Quebec company the catalog of Quebec films Seville Movies.