‘Netflix will destroy the ecosystem of film production in Europe: Andre Lange, EAO

By ET Bureau

Netflix chief content officer Ted Saran dos defended his company against accusations at the Cannes Film Festival that the streaming service is hurting Europe’s subsidised film industry.

During a question-and-answer session, Sarandos was challenged by Andre Lange of the government backed European Audiovisual Observatory for not paying into the system that provides tax subsidies to local movie makers.

“Are you aware that in five, 10, 15 years you will destroy the current ecosystem of film production in Europe,” Lange, head of the observatory’s department for information on markets and financing, asked after an on-stage interview with Sarandos.

France requires national broadcasters and distributors to contribute to local film funds.

Foreign services like Netflix are exempt. Sarandos, joined by US movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, defended the online service as an important benefactor of local producers. “I think what we are going to do is grow the film ecosystem,” Sarandos said.

“We don’t take any money out of the system.”

The event, part of the festival’s Next program, was designed to highlight the growing role of digital distributors in the movie world. Both Netflix and Amazon have begun producing original films and TV shows for their video-streaming services. Some theater operators and broadcasters feel threatened by the new distribution model. “Marseille,” a Netflix show, was shot in France with French producers and talent, according to Sarandos.

“We won’t take one cent of French tax dollars to produce that show,” he said. “Our plan is not to draw from those funds, not to pay into those funds because we are creating content for the world.”


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