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French cinema finds an ally in Hotstar

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MUMBAI: Hotstar is saying je t’aime to its new French tie-up. Along with Bonjour India, Star India’s over-the-top (OTT) platform, Hotstar, is giving the country a peek into classic French films. Bonjour India is a festival presented by Cultures France and the French embassy in India.

To celebrate the Indo-French partnership as well as shape the next decade of human exchange between the countries, Bonjour India launched ‘The Experience: A Journey with France’ and the platform 10 Years-10 Films in Mumbai on 14 December.

The third edition of Bonjour India is an extravaganza spanning over four months to celebrate the Indo-French association through hundreds of events across India. It will cover 100 projects in 33 cities across 20 states and union territories from November 2017 to February 2018. The themes for these projects are smart citizen, high mobility and go green.

While reviving a community of French cinema lovers by giving them access to recent French films through various media, 10 Years-10 Films will also facilitate the acquisition of French content by Indian VOD platforms.

Hotstar CEO Ajit Mohan said, “They (Bonjour India) have helped us to choose and arrange 10 films, which are the best of French cinema with English subtitles. Our responsibility is to take them to India’s audience, especially the youth who have not been exposed to these kinds of movies.”

Hotstar will, however, also screen three of the movies in cinema halls to reach a variety of audiences. Attaché for Innovation and Multimedia at French Institute India - French Embassy in India, Pierre Laburthe, handpicked the iconic films, across genres, and pitched it to Hotstar.

Laburthe sees a big market French cinema in India. He said, “We are launching an online festival ‘10 on 10’ because, in the last few years, it has been very difficult to have French films in Indian cinema. We wanted to be online and so we partnered with Hotstar and we have one iconic film for each past decade.”

“People don’t know that we have a common history, so we have created this structure to put it in the public space, where people can discover the relationship through these aspects. We will talk about culture, films, education, science, business and everything in a multidisciplinary event,” he added.

Some of the French films that are available now on Hotstar are Villa Amalia, Tomorrow, 9-Month Stretch, Happiness Never Comes Alone, Sils Maria, A Few Hours of Spring, Of Gods and Men, and Irreplaceable. These films will be seen only on Hotstar as the French embassy has acquired the digital rights only for Star India.

Also Read: Guest Column: How 2018 could become a landmark year for OTT entertainment in India

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