Canadian Film Distributors' Lobby Restructures Under Pressure From Digital Challenges

Ted East is stepping down as president of CAFDE as Netflix Canada continues to transform the Canadian pay TV market.

TORONTO – A shake-up in the local film distributors lobby group has seen Ted East step down as president of the Canadian Association of Film Distributors and Exporters.

East will be leaving Sept. 15, as the association restructures and considers whether to find a replacement or out-source public affairs representation in Ottawa.

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CAFDE, which represents indie movie distributors, is shaking up its ranks to get its members around the digital curve after the entry of Netflix Canada and other U.S. digital platforms into the Canadian market.

The industry group is also looking to lobby newly-installed heritage minister Shelly Glover and other Ottawa players to increase domestic broadcast spending, especially by pay TV operators, on homegrown films.

Current CAFDE members include D Films, Kinosmith, Metropole Films, Entertainment One/Les Films Séville and Mongrel Media.

Their industry has consolidated with the former Alliance Films acquiring Maple Pictures, a combination that in turn was purchased by Entertainment One.

East joined CAFDE as president in 2004.

“It’s been a privilege working on behalf of this group of distributors,” said East in a statement Monday.

“During my tenure, the Canadian film distribution and production industry has undergone many changes and has also achieved some groundbreaking successes. I’m confident that this success will continue in the future," he added.