Photo agencies seeing red over Cannes festival deal

Fri Apr 9, 2010 9:17pm EDT
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By Rebecca Leffler

PARIS (Hollywood Reporter) - Photo agencies are crying foul over the Cannes film festival's exclusive deal with French broadcasters that may cause restrictions on some video coverage of the 63rd annual Riviera rendezvous.

Festival organizers have verbally informed several of the international news agencies that regularly cover the fest that severe restrictions on access to red carpets and news conferences might prevent them from providing their usual coverage.

Reuters, AFP, Getty TV and the Associated Press Television News are in negotiations with festival authorities to ensure comprehensive coverage for their news wires and clients across the globe.

These restrictions stem from deals the festival has signed with French broadcaster Canal Plus and pay TV service Orange for exclusive video coverage of the red carpets and other official events.

Typically competitive news organizations Reuters, Getty, AP and AFP have banded together to put an advisory on their public websites saying that they might have to suspend coverage of the festival if they can't secure a deal with fest authorities soon.

"We're not sure what our next steps will be if we can't come to an agreement, but our intention now is to find a solution," said Alison Crombie, senior director of global public relations for Getty Images. "We, with the other agencies, consider this to be very unfair."


While the festival's restrictions have so far been only verbal warnings that started at the end of last year's festival, the media groups have been pressing the festival for several weeks for some kind of written deal detailing the restrictions.   Continued...

<p>An unidentified guest arrives for the screening of the film "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" out of competition at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival May 22, 2009. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann</p>