Magazine article Screen International

"Don't Sign Co-Production Treaty with US," Weinstein Tells French

Magazine article Screen International

"Don't Sign Co-Production Treaty with US," Weinstein Tells French

Article excerpt

Harvey Weinstein talks US-Franco filmmaking cooperation at Champs-Elysées Film Festival in Paris.

Harvey Weinstein gave out some unexpected advice to France during a round-table on cooperation between the US and French film industries on Thursday: "Don't give us an independent co-production treaty".

"I know it's crazy for an American to say this," Weinstein told the panel hosted by the Champs-Elysées Film Festival in Paris. "Here's my feeling. We already impose our culture too much. I come to Paris. I put on the television and I see John Wayne in French 20 times a day. Enough already."

"When we start showing Jacques Rivette movies on NBC instead of American Idol then give us a co-production deal," he continued. "Trust me, it will never happen. This is not the style of the United States. We like to sell our culture. Protect yourselves. There won't not be a French movie industry if you give us a treaty."

France's National Cinema Centre (CNC) has signed some 60 co-production treaties since its creation including with key filmmaking territories such as China and India, but not with United States.

Weinstein was talking at a roundtable on how French and U.S. producers can cooperate.

Some 20 top French industry figures attended, including Sammy and Victor Hadida of Metropolitan Filmexport, whose more recent U.S.-based co-productions include Andrew Dominik's Cannes screener Killing Them Softly; TF1 International managing director Daniel Preljocaj, who is steering the group towards producing more U.S.-style fare, and Fabrice Denizot, chief marketing officer at Paris-based Europacorp, which recently announced a U.S co-production deal with Relativity Media.

If Weinstein was suggesting the French should safeguard its film industry, the French producers, for their part, seemed to have no qualms about adopting America's free-market approach.

"When you work with Americans. …

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