Orange has partnered with acclaimed French director Luc Besson on his upcoming film release, in its latest foray into the content space.

The operator has invested around €10 million in ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ and will be the exclusive pay-TV and video on demand (VOD) partner in France for the film, which is set for cinematic release in July and August.

The film will be offered for sale through Orange's VoD service from 26 November and for rent from 4 December this year.

Orange’s OCS offering, four channels dedicated to film and TV series, will be the only French TV channels to broadcast the latest offering from the director of Nikita and Subway for two years from May 2018.

Behind-the-scenes footage, produced exclusively for the operator, will also appear on OrangeSponsorsYou.com and on fans.ocs.fr in France, with an extended new trailer set to launch in mid-July.

“The new partnership highlights Orange’s growing engagement right across the film industry – from investment and production to distribution,” Orange said in a statement.

“Delivering outstanding content, including film, is a key component of realising that ambition.”

Further, as a sponsor for the film across Europe, Africa and the Middle East, the operator has co-marketing rights.

A TV advertising campaign about Orange’s involvement in film will launch on 1 July and there will be exclusive premieres provided for 20,000 Orange customers in 26 cities, as well as VIP packages offered to allow customers to attend events in Paris and Los Angeles.

“Given the passion that people have for film, we see it as our role to make films even more accessible to fans,” said Béatrice Mandine, Executive Vice-President of Brand and Communications at Orange.

“We will bring this to life through a global campaign, enabling us to turn the spotlight on emotions provided by film to the ones sitting in the shadows, namely the viewers.”

The film is the latest exclusive content win for the operator. In March, Orange announced that OCS would become the sole broadcaster of HBO content in France.

Orange CFO Ramon Fernandez said in May the operator was spending more than €600 million a year on film, TV and video offerings.

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