CHAIRMAN & CEO
After graduating from the ESD SUP management school and Metz University, Didier Lupfer began his career in 1986 at RTL Télévision Luxembourg. He participated in the project to take over France’s sixth terrestrial television network, which resulted in the launch of the M6 channel in March 1987.
At M6, Lupfer held different posts before being appointed Deputy Head of Programming for the channel in 1990.
In 1991, Lupfer joined the CARAT Group as Director of Forecasting and Programming.
In 1994 he returned to the RTL Group, where he worked on the project to create the TPS satellite package and was then appointed CEO of the cinema subsidiary.
He joined CANAL+ in 2000 as Director of Program Development. Assigned by the CANAL+ Group to MULTITHÉMATIQUES in 2001, he served as CEO of the CinéCinémas film channel. In 2003, he was appointed Deputy Director of CANAL+ in charge of cinema.
In 2006 Lupfer set up One World Films, a production company, where he produced GAINSBOURG: A HEROIC LIFE (which won three César) and WAR OF THE BUTTONS and he was appointed Managing Director of SKYNET IMOTION ACTIVITIES, a Belgacom subsidiary, and Director of the Content Division of the BELGACOM GROUP.
Lupfer joined the UBISOFT Group in 2011 as Executive Vice-President in charge of the production and development of UBISOFT MOTION PICTURES. He was Producer of the world-famous animated series RABID RABBIDS and participated in the development of the ASSASSIN’S CREED and SPLINTER CELL movies.
He joined the Vivendi Group in September 2015 as Canal+ Group Executive Vice-President in charge of Cinema and Chairman and CEO of STUDIOCANAL.
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER & CFO
Romain Bessi is graduated from Neoma (Sup de Co Reims). He worked two years for the auditing firm Ernst & Young and joined the CANAL+ GROUP in 1997 as a management controller for the premium channel. He was appointed Financial Director of SPORT+ (in charge of international negotiations for sports rights) in 1999. In 2000 he became the Financial Director of CANAL+ Nordic (Sweden, Finland, and Denmark) and then CEO. Two years later, in 2002, he was appointed Financial Director of CANAL+ SA in Paris, and in 2005 Financial Director of the CANAL+ GROUP Edition.
Then Romain Bessi joined Studiocanal in 2007 as EVP Administration, Finance & technical, and added Strategy in 2010. In March 2014, he became C.O.O, in charge of finance, strategy, technical, but also of all TV series activities following the acquisitions of Tandem in Germany and RED in the UK.
PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION & MARKETING – Chairman of STUDIOCANAL Germany and STUDIOCANAL Australia/New Zealand
Rodolphe BUET is President, International Distribution & Marketing (films, library and TV series) since March 1st 2015. He also oversees STUDIOCANAL’s operations in Germany, Australia/ New Zealand and China.
Rodolphe BUET devoted an important part of his career to the music industry (WARNER, EMI, BMG and FNAC). He joined STUDIOCANAL in January 2005 as Sales and Marketing Director. From 2009 to 2012, he was Executive Vice-President in charge of the International Distribution. Since 2012, he has held the position of CEO of STUDIOCANAL Germany.
Kalle FRIZ began his career in marketing and press at the International French Film Festival of Tübingen (1994-1999) and later at Advanced Filmverleih GmbH. Then, he was Head of Fox Searchlight and Local Acquisitions for Twentieth Century Fox Germany (2002-2009).
He joined STUDIOCANAL Germany in 2009, as EVP, Theatrical Distribution.
Since January 2014, he has held the position of Chief Operating Officer.
CEO UNITED KINGDOM
He then joined Optimum Releasing (now STUDIOCANAL) at the inception of the company in May 1999, taking on responsibility for the positioning and promotion of all titles. As the new company developed and grew, his role was extended to include management and development of the company, and he was named CEO UK on September 1st 2010 with the responsability across production et distribution. He has overseen the release of over several hundred titles theatrically and more than a thousand titles in Home Entertainment, including critically acclaimed and commercially successful titles, such as FAHRENHEIT 9/11, THE HURT LOCKER, THIS IS ENGLAND and RUSH, as well as an impressive slate of productions including Tomas Alfredson's TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, Jaume Collet Serra's NON STOP and Paul King's PADDINGTON.
A board member of Creative England, Danny has lectured at both the National Film and Television School and the British Film Institute, and has represented the company at events at the London School of Economics, London Film Festival and the BritDoc festival among others.
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT PRODUCTION & DISTRIBUTION FRANCE
After earning her postgraduate degree in audiovisual communication legislation and administration (Sorbonne, Paris I) in 1995, Géraldine Gendre started her career at M6 Vidéo, worked on feature-film production for 3 years, moved to M6’s cinema subsidiary as Artistic Advisor in 1999, was and promoted to Deputy Director at that subsidiary in 2005. She joined STUDIOCANAL in March 2012 as Production Director for France, and has been supervising all production and distribution activities France-wide since March 2014.
CEO AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND
Robert Slaviero (Slav as he is known in the industry) started in the film industry in 1978 as a despatch clerk at UIP. Since then he has worked as National Sales Manager for Hoyts/Fox/Columbia Tri-Star joint venture, assisted with the setup of PolyGram Films Australia, and was Managing Director of Twentieth Century Fox Films Australia where he oversaw the release of films such as MOULIN ROUGE, TITANIC and THE FULL MONTY. In October 2001 Slav joined Hoyts Distribution as the CEO of the company. Under Slav’s leadership Hoyts Distribution has become one of Australia & New Zealand’s leading independent film distribution companies, boasting a film library that contains over 140 titles including four films from the highly successful SAW series and all of the films from the enormously popular TWILIGHT franchise. Slav has also been President of the Australian Independents Distributor’s Association since 2009.
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT INTERNATIONAL PRODUCTION AND ACQUISITIONS
Ron Halpern has been in charge of international productions and acquisitions for STUDIOCANAL since 2007, overseeing its growth in international production and strongly contributing to the studio becoming a European major.
His past productions include BATFA winning and Academy Award nominated TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, Joel and Ethan Coen’s INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, awarded the Jury’s Grand Prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, or world box office topper action thriller NON-STOP, to name a few...
Current productions include THE GUNMAN produced by Joel Silver, directed by Pierre Morel with Sean Penn, Javier Bardem and Idris Elba; MACBETH starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, PADDINGTON, produced by Harry Potter producer David Heyman, based on the adventures of the most famous bear in the world, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Bonneville, LEGEND starring Tom Hardy as both of the notorious Kray brothers… and also SHAUN THE SHEEP in partnership with Aardman Animations, bringing one of their most popular characters to the big screen.
Acquisitions have included THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, MOONRISE KINGDOM and THE IMITATION GAME.
Ron also oversees the theatrical adaptations and productions of STUDIOCANAL, notably THE PRODUCERS by Mel Brooks, THE GRADUATE and THE LADYKILLERS.
Before joining STUDIOCANAL, Ron worked for CBS SPORTS at 3 Winter Olympic Games.
He holds a BA and an MBA from Columbia University.
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT BUSINESS & LEGAL AFFAIRS
Responsible for the business affairs of STUDIOCANAL Image, she took over the legal and business affairs of STUDICANAL in 2003; it groups together all the distribution and co-production business of new films and the catalogue.
Antoine Banet-Rivet joined CANAL+ Group in 2000 at the Internal Communications Department, of which he became Director in 2002. In 2005, he was promoted to Director of Corporate & Internal Communications, CANAL+ Group. Since 2011, he is also Director of Communications of the Group’s all-news channel iTELE.
Antoine, who holds a master’s degree and a post-graduate degree in French Literature from the Sorbonne University in Paris, started his career as an editor at Paris-based publisher Gallimard. He joined Heinz USA in Pittsburgh as a junior press officer and copywriter at the Communications Department before moving to London where he was a journalist at the Camden Chronicle and The Independent newspapers from 1997 to 2000.
VICE PRESIDENT CATALOGUE AND BRANDS STRATEGY
In 2005 Sophie Kopaczynski joined the CANAL+ GROUP, where she held the position of Chief of the President’s Cabinet. In parallel with this function, she managed public relations for the Group from 2006 to 2010.
Sophie holds a master’s degree in Culture’s Economy and Communication and is graduated from the EPSCI School (ESSEC business schools group). She was assigned several missions within the French Government, notably at the Ministry for Culture and Communication (1996-1998) where she worked on the national celebration of the 20th anniversary of André Malraux’s death, the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery, the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
From 1999 to 2001 Sophie Kopaczynski was in charge of partnerships and public relations for the Francofolies de la Rochelle (a French music Festival).
In 2002 she was in charge of communications within the Lucien Barrière Group.
From 2003 until 2005 she was responsible for communications at the Centre National de la Chanson, des Variétés et du Jazz (= national centre for song, variety and jazz music).
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT HUMAN RESOURCES
Valerie joined the Caisse d’Epargne Group in 2002 and became responsible for the human resources of a subsidiary and supported the integration of new activities. In 2006 she joined the HR Corporate Division. There she held several key positions in the field of HR development, including Recruitment and Talent Management. When Banque Populaire and Caisse d’Epargne merged, she became Deputy Director of Senior Executives’ Development and Management. In this position, she was responsible for designing the detection and training processes for the future Senior Executives, as well as for the BPCE Diversity Program.
Valérie Languille joined STUDIOCANAL in March 2011.