U.S. streaming company Netflix opened a new office in Paris and plans to develop more than 20 original French-language productions in 2020, it said on Friday.
Launched in 2014 in France - where it employs 40 people and has operations in Paris - Netflix has developed 24 French titles, including six films, nine series and three documentaries.
The company plans to produce several new shows in the coming years, as well as a series of series and films made by production partners, he said.
"This office is a sign of our long-term commitment to the country," said Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings in a statement.
"This will allow us to work even more closely with the French creative community on major shows and films that are made in France and watched around the world," he added.
Netflix has seen its customer base grow rapidly in recent years, thanks to a rich catalog of films and series, allowing it to gain market share from the former local pay TV operator Canal + - a unit of Vivendi media conglomerate - which had 16,2 million subscribers at the end of 2018, including 8,3 million in mainland France.
In an interview with the French weekly L´Express, Hastings said that Netflix now has 6,7 million subscribers in France and that the company will invest more than 100 million euros to create new French content in 2020.
"We are becoming a major French producer, we are no longer just a machine to export Hollywood content," he said, adding that he must meet with President Emmanuel Macron.
Among the new productions are the new film BigBug, a comedy set in the future, co-written by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, director of “The Fabulous Destination of Amélie Poulain”, and a series about the assailant Arsene Lupine, starring French actor Omar Sy.
Netflix's offensive comes after the French government said it would force platforms like Netflix to devote up to 25% of its French revenue to finance domestic production of French content.
Netflix was criticized in France for interrupting a finely regulated subsidy system designed to encourage the production of films and series in French.
Asked whether Netflix will present some of its productions at the annual Cannes Film Festival in the future, Hastings said that in order to be admitted to Cannes, films must first be shown in cinemas and then they must wait three years to be shown in streaming. Services.
“Our subscribers cannot wait that long. If we can participate without having to open in theaters first, we will be back, ”he said.
Netflix has over 158 million paid subscriptions in more than 190 countries. The new French headquarters will be its fourth office in Europe.
Source: Netflix / Reuters // Featured image: REUTERS / Wolfgang Rattay