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BNP Paribas partners with Luc Besson for "Valerian and the city of a thousand planets"

BNP Paribas is partnering with acclaimed French film screenwriter, director and producer Luc Besson to make the biggest-budget European film ever produced – Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, which is scheduled for release in July 2017. BNP Paribas has made a commitment to invest €10 million in the film, and will have key partner status for two years.

For the first time in its history the Bank is making a capital investment in a ground-breaking film production aimed at delighting film lovers around the world. The feature film is an adaptation of the French comic series ‘Valérian’, written by Pierre Christin and illustrated by Jean-Claude Mézières. To date, it is the only major French space opera, inspiring writers and directors all over the world.

"For more than 20 years, BNP Paribas has been involved in a special partnership with European cinema. We are really excited about Valerian as it is a very bold project and its trajectory will propel us into the future. This initiative is a perfect fit with BNP Paribas: it is in our DNA to support the creative industries and entrepreneurs in their major international ambitions", explains BNP Paribas Chief Operating Officer Jean-Laurent Bonnafé.

“Valerian is the biggest film of my life. I naturally turned to BNP Paribas, a reliable and dedicated partner. They understand the challenges of the film industry and have been bold enough to support me in this ambitious project. I am hoping, above all, to open the doors of my universe to the widest possible audience. Together, we will be able to offer movie fans a lot of opportunities for interaction, particularly on social media,” said Luc Besson.

BNP Paribas intends to offer film lovers in Europe exclusive new experiences at every stage of the making of the movie until its release in 2017. Starting from this month, BNP Paribas will give customers and prospective customers an opportunity to enter the Valerian universe. Some 500 people in Europe will be invited to attend the shooting of the film which has just begun at the Cité du Cinéma studios in Saint Denis in the north of Paris, or to discover what goes on in the editing studios. The general public will also be able to attend previews of the film, have exclusive access to Valerian-related content via a digital platform, and take advantage of special commercial offers.

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BNP Paribas, the European bank of cinema

BNP Paribas and cinema share a long history; a European history, with roots in France, but also in Italy and in Belgium. The BNP Paribas Group has been building this history with the cinema industry for over 20 years, making BNP Paribas today the largest European bank in cinema financing.

In France, the Bank has been working in this field since cinema and television first arrived on the scene and today plays an important role in financing—directly or indirectly—over half of all films produced. In Italy, BNL has always played a major role in Italian cinema. Founded in Rome in 1913, BNL set up a special department in 1935 for providing loans to the local cinema industry. In Belgium, BNP Paribas Fortis has a specialist team which arranges investments in cinema.

In recent years BNP Paribas has helped to finance such notable works as The Artist, Saint-Laurent, Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince), Intouchables (The Untouchables), La stanza del figlio (The Son's Room), Astérix – Le domaine des dieux (Asterix – the Land of the Gods), Le Tout Nouveau Testament (The Brand New Testament) and Visiteurs 3 (The Visitors – the Revolution).

As well as providing financing, the Bank is involved in all stages of the film industry value chain. Since BNP Paribas was founded, cinema has become one of the Group’s main areas of customer affinity. The Bank is highly committed to supporting and promoting the 7th art, a key aim being to help bring the very best of cinema to a wide audience, contribute to the industry’s development, foster new talent and encourage transformations in the cinema universe.

Key figures:

More than half of all French films are financed—directly or indirectly—by BNP Paribas

Every year, 1 million people benefit from a reduced-price cinema ticket

BNP Paribas partners with 9 international

BNP Paribas has supported 2 movie theatres and the restoration of 7 films

21,000 children in hospital enjoyed in 2014 a film screening thanks to Toiles Enchantées (Magic Canvas), a French charitable organisation which arranges for movies to be shown in hospitals

About BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas is present in 75 countries with more than 185,000 employees, including 145,000 in Europe. It ranks highly in its two core activities: Retail Banking & Services (comprised of Domestic Markets and International Financial Services) and Corporate & Institutional Banking. In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leader in consumer lending. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail banking model across Mediterranean basin countries, in Turkey, in Eastern Europe and a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Institutional Banking and International Financial Services activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas and solid and fast-growing businesses in Asia-Pacific.