France’s Éclair Group Raises $16.6M Digital Switch, Development
Here’s some good news for France’s troubled postproduction sector. The Éclair Group has raised €12.4M ($16.6M) to complete its digital transition and speed up development across all of its businesses. The recapitalization was financed by the company’s current management, France’s Fonds de Consolidation et Développement des Entreprises, and by Tarak Ben Ammar’s Quinta Communications. (Ben Ammar had acquired 43% of Éclair back in 2007 and was keen to merge it with his LTC Laboratories but was blocked by the competition authority at the time.) Éclair will also use the funds to strengthen its restoration business and to equip French cinemas in partnership with Deluxe and HP.

OWN Programming Heading Down Under
OWN and Discovery Networks International are planning a weekly block of OWN programming for Discovery Home & Health in Australia. Starting August 4, Aussie viewers will have access to shows that include Oprah’s Next Chapter, Super Soul Sunday, America With Lisa Ling and The Oprah Winfrey Show: Behind The Scenes. The Australia bow will follow the recent UK launch of OWN programming on TLC.UK’s LoveFilm Streaming Disney Movies On Demand
The UK’s LoveFilm has launched Disney Movies on Demand on its LoveFilm Instant. Titles available on the Amazon-owned service include WALL-E, Ratatouille, Dumbo and Lady And The Tramp. LoveFilm subscribers will have access to films from the Disney Movies on Demand collection for no extra cost as part of the companies’ existing relationship.

Depardieu In Rare Interview: ‘I Am A Franco-Russian Actor’
Gérard Depardieu, who lately has been shooting thriller Turquoise with Elizabeth Hurley in Russia, spoke with French paper Le Journal du Dimanche on Sunday in a rare interview. This was the first time he’s sat down with the press in the six months since he wrote a colorful response to French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault after the latter called him “pathetic” for seeking financial exile outside of France. Since then, Depardieu has made his home in both Belgium and Russia, where President Vladimir Putin gave him a passport in January. Regarding the tumult created after his December letter was published, Depardieu says: “I am vaccinated against what people may say about me. From now on I am a Franco-Russian actor.” However, he’s not watching French TV when he travels. “When I watch French television from abroad, I see nothing of interest.” The actor has wrapped Abel Ferrara’s Welcome To New York, a treatise on sex, power and politics that IFC will release in the U.S.

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