Sevilla Films ceases its distribution in theaters

The news had the effect of a bomb in the middle of the cinema: Entertainment One ceases the distribution of films in Canadian cinemas. This abrupt decision has a direct impact on Les Films Sevilla, a subsidiary of eOne, several of whose employees had to be laid off and leave their offices on rue Saint-Antoine. Since the merger with Alliance Vivafilm 10 years ago, Les Films Sevilla has been the great leader in film distribution in Quebec.

Posted yesterday at 22:29

andre duchesne

andre duchesne
Press

Marc-Andre Lussier

Marc-Andre Lussier
Press

Confirming the news to Press, Patrick Roy, president of Seville Films and president, theatrical distribution, Entertainment One, did not reveal many details. The latter leaves his functions, having finished his contract this week.

“Sevilla still exists,” he said. Some employees keep their jobs, particularly in the technical and financial sectors. There is also a team for catalog management. The changes announced Tuesday only affect theatrical distribution. »

According to the Mercantile Registry, Les Films Sevilla has between 50 and 99 employees in Quebec.

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PHOTO DOMINICK GRAVEL, THE PRESS

The facade of the building that houses the offices of Sevilla Films

We were also unable to obtain a statement from eOne on the reasons that led the company to this decision, made in high places.

Recall that in 2019, shortly before the pandemic, the Hasbro company acquired Entertainment One for about 4 billion dollars. The pandemic has had a profound impact on the film industry.

On Monday night at the Place des Arts, in front of a crowd of guests, Les Films Sevilla presented its latest film from Quebec, the dramatic comedy lines of flight by Catherine Chabot and Miriam Bouchard. The film was also shown Tuesday night in Quebec at the Le Clap cinema. For a time late Tuesday afternoon it was rumored that this presentation would not take place, but once verified, the film was presented as planned. Furthermore, its distribution, as of July 6 in various theaters in Quebec, is not compromised, we were told. All contracts will be honored.

Shock but…

On Tuesday, in the world of production and distribution, this announcement was greeted with a mixture of shock and sadness, but also suppressed amazement. Observers in the environment could clearly see that something was going on.

“When we found out that Patrick [Roy] it wasn’t at the Cannes Film Festival, we asked ourselves questions,” said producer and distributor Christian Larouche (Opale Films), who worked closely with Sevilla. “We were looking at their list of upcoming movies and there wasn’t much. But it makes me very sad to see what is happening, for this old company and for the employees. When a colleague is struggling, it’s never good news. »

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PHOTO COURTESY BY SEVILLE FILMS

Léane Labrèche-Dor, Catherine Chabot and Mariana Mazza headline the lines of flight.

Mr. Larouche knows what he’s talking about. His company had significant financial difficulties in the early 2010s, and Sevilla bought his catalog of films from Quebec. Mr. Larouche intends to recover the titles from him when Seville’s rights come to an end. “I think I still have 15 to 20 titles in his catalog,” he said.

“I am very sad, said producer André Rouleau (Caramel Films). It is not good news for producers to have one less distributor. »

Can’t say it was a big surprise. For some time it was felt that Seville’s appetite for theatrical film distribution was waning.

Andre Rouleau, producer

Mr. Rouleau gives the example of the animated film. Brave (The bravest), which he co-produced and which Sevilla distributed in a very limited register in the country.

” With Bravewe had great success in France [1,5 million d’entrées] and Sevilla did not even want to distribute it theatrically here, he lamented. I think he did three theaters in Canada; this is called a technical exit. Theater owners have been waiting for this movie. They wanted it. Sevilla bought it from us, paid for it and sold it to television. They had given us a guarantee of distribution with advertising, but in the end the main shareholders did not want to put another penny for theatrical distribution. »

Nancy Florence Savard, who produces animated films with her box 10me Quebec’s Ave Productions, meanwhile, believes that Seville has paved the way for 3D animated feature films in Quebec. “Patrick Roy and his team were pioneers with The legend of Sarila released in 2013, he said. They did it again with Nelly and Simon: Yeti Mission in 2018 and a few weeks ago they were selling our movies on Netflix. It is with great sadness that I learn of this news and think of all the members of this passionate team dedicated to Quebec cinematography. »

A giant from Quebec

Sevilla Films was created at the end of 1999 after purchasing the catalog from Behaviour, a distributor that had itself bought the Malofilm Group catalog (The Decline of the American Empire). In an interview in To have toone of the three investors, Pierre Brousseau, indicated that one of the first films distributed would be bath wines (become rebels/lost and delirious in English) by Léa Pool.

The company was acquired by eOne in 2007. In 2012, eOne bought Alliance Vivafilm and merged the two distributors, who took the name of Les Films Sevilla. The catalogue, made up of Quebec, Canadian and international films, mostly fiction but also documentaries, is impressive.

From the Quebec film industry, Seville will ensure the distribution of titles such as 10 1/2, 1987, The seven days of retaliation, Mommy, dismantling, fires, Insha’Allah, mob inc, the kingdom of beauty, Louis Cyr: the strongest man in the world, gabriela, etc. Among the international titles, let us mention Divergence, The Hunger Games, john wick, paddington Y Twilight.

Patrick Roy agrees that the distributor still has several upcoming Quebec titles that he has committed to. “There’s a responsibility to respect and you don’t have to worry about all of this,” he says. There will be no negative impacts on the films and producers we work with. »

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