E1 Entertainment advances into France

TV, digital content and DVD titles to be distributed

TORONTO -- Canadian distributor E1 Entertainment has opened a beachhead in France by signing Aventi Distribution to release its DVD titles, while its E1 International Television unit will market TV and digital content locally.

The move, following a similar expansion in Australia and New Zealand, comes as E1 and Canadian rival Alliance Films look beyond a mature home market to Europe to build out a multi-territory distribution network (HR, Feb. 23).

E1 already has distribution units in the U.K. and the Benelux.

The first E1 releases into France, starting in July 2010, include the Canadian French-language thriller "Les 7 jours du talion," "Dorian Gray," starring Colin Firth and Ben Barnes, "Love Ranch," featuring Helen Mirren, Joe Pesci and Brian Cranston, and "$5 a Day," with Christopher Walken and Sharon Stone.

DVD titles from E1 Entertainment's TV slate bound for France include the CTV cop drama "The Bridge", also picked up by CBS, the upcoming summer Global/ABC cop drama "Rookie Blue" and Syfy's "Haven."