Olivier Courson Named Culture, Communication, Digital Senior Advisor

Olivier Courson, the former chairman-CEO of Studiocanal, has been appointed as a senior advisor on culture, communications and digital regulation, reporting to new French prime minister Edouard Philippe.

In his new position, Courson will advise and if necessary arbitrate – in the case of discrepencies between ministries – on a ample remit of issues crucial to the future of film and TV in France. He reports to Philippe, responsible for implementing in a mid-term the long-term vision for France and France’s place in the world set out by Emmanuel Macron who won France’s presidential elections on May 7.

That will give Courson a say in some of the huge issues which Macron’s government is expected to tackle, led by France’s expansion in the digital domain, a priority for Macron.

In early declarations as France’s new culture minister, Françoise Nyssen, has confirmed that she will lead the debate on Netflix and other digital platforms challenge to France’s hallowed release window chronology. That issue was thrown into the limelight at the Cannes Festival by its selection of two Netflix movies which may never see a theatrical release in France. Decided upon by industry practice in most countries, in France the timing of release windows is a matter of law.

But, while Nyssen will lead the debate, Mounir Mahjoubi, a French-Moroccan digital communications expert who previously headed France’s National Digital Council, a government advisory body on modern technologies, has been named minister for digital affairs.

Some issues, such as anti-trust rulings on competition between digital platforms and other players, fall more naturally under other ministries or government authorities. Courson’s remit will include bringing everyone to a consensus position.

Other key issues which may range across multiple ministries include Macron’s gameplay for a European Netflix, which would need coordination at a European level, and a strengthening of…

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