This autumn 2021, the three-year partnership contractually linking it to the Canal+ group came to its end. In accordance with its rules, the Festival studied the two proposals it was presented with:
-that of the Canal+ group, who wished to continue their participation,
-that of the France Télévisions group, who, after initially being candidates in 2015-2016, applied alongside the media company Brut.
Last 23 November, the two projects were submitted to the Festival’s Board of Directors whose members were to decide by a secret vote in writing, with the results to be made known in the five following days.
Following this consultation, the majority of board members were clearly in favour of the proposal from France Télévisions/Brut., while evoking the possibility of maintaining, in some form, the presence of Canal+, the event’s historic partner, who had floated the idea of joining forces with its competitor, as is common in other domains.
Moreover, it was agreed that the President of the Festival de Cannes, Pierre Lescure, would offer Canal+ the possibility of improving its offer before a second and final consultation with board members.
It was Pierre Lescure himself who discussed this with the Chairman of the Canal+ group, Maxime Saada, who claimed to be open to these proposals.
It was therefore surprising to discover what Gérald-Brice Viret, Managing Director of Channels and Programmes at Canal+, had to say in an interview with the newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, where he said that his group had unilaterally withdrawn from the partner-seeking process. One of the reasons given was financial “one-upmanship” from the France Télévisions/Brut group.
We would like to correct this statement by saying that the two proposals were overall financially similar and the public service did not engage in any form of overbidding. On the other hand, the difference came in the content of the proposals. The public television group, bringing together all of its channels (F2, F3, F5 and Culture Box), and the media company Brut, with a young audience and good coverage abroad, could offer, by joining together, innovative ways of working as the Festival gets set to celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2022.
And it is towards this important edition of the Festival that we are entirely focused.
Therefore, taking note of Canal+ withdrawing, the Festival has signed a memorandum of understanding with France Télévisions and Brut. In mid-January we will present, after several weeks of work, the contours of this new partnership that we are very happy to have reached and to announce.
Canal+ was with the Festival for three decades and on this day that our paths separate, we are thinking first and foremost of their teams, their journalists and their technicians. As the channel has expressed their desire to nevertheless be present on the Croisette, we look forward to warmly welcoming them.
A new page of the Festival’s history is going to be written. We would like to express our joy and our pride in welcoming our new partners. And we would like to thank Delphine Ernotte, CEO of the France Télévisions group, and Renaud Le Van Kim, co-founder of Brut, for making a commitment to work alongside the biggest cinema event in the world.
The 75th International Festival de Cannes will take place from 17 May to 28 May 2022.