Anna Glogowski, head of documentaries at French pay-TV channel Canal+, left the company at the end of December after 18 years. Calling her departure ‘a shared decision to leave,’ Glogowski cites a change in ‘editorial line’ within the unit of financially troubled Vivendi Universal.
‘My departure is part of a reorganization of the channel in which the priorities are different from those of the people who are leaving,’ she says, adding she was busy right up to the end. Her final doc projects include Eric Valli’s Nomads of the Forest (in post-production) and a follow-up to Agnes Varda’s The Gleaners and I called The Gleaners and I: Two Years Later (aired in late December).
Laurence Blaevoet, programming director and head of acquisitions for Canal+, says the pay-TV channel issued new editorial guidelines in September. ‘We are not rich enough to have lots of slots of documentaries, so we focus on investigation, wildlife and the cinema,’ she explains. Canal+ has boosted the hours dedicated to investigative docs to 40 a year from just six, Blaevoet adds; about 80% of the projects will be commissioned to independents.
Glogowski’s departure raised few eyebrows among indie prodcos in France, where the channel’s woes are well known. Says Fabrice Estève, a producer at Paris-based Ampersand, ‘I’m not really surprised, since Canal+ is going to have to save money and get back to basics.’
Christian Baute, a producer at Movimento Productions in Paris, says Canal+ faces a future full of tough decisions, as does the entire VU media empire. ‘The network doesn’t know what it wants to do, and they have no idea how to continue a policy that was constructed 18 years ago,’ he notes, referring to when Canal+ was founded. ‘The vast question,’ Baute continues, ‘is what is the future for Canal+ in its whole, not just its documentaries.