Gilles Meunier, the international television distribution and programming executive who worked at France’s TF1 and Canal+ and was a mainstay at festivals and conferences from NATPE to Mipcom and the Los Angeles Screenings, has died.
He died January 7 at him home in Palm Beach, FL at age 70 after a short illness, his family said Monday.
Meunier, born in Paris where his father was a photojournalist who worked for Fox Movietone News among others, began his career at the Paris offices of 20th Century Fox, where he rose to VP International Television overseeing the studio’s TV sales throughout southern Europe.
That led to a move in 1990 to the French indie production company Flach Films, where he was head of television. After that and a two-year stint at Paravision International, he became Director of Sales and Acquisitions at TF1, France’s leading domestic broadcast network, acquiring series from the major U.S. studios. In 1996, he became Directeur General Adjoint of France’s premium cable giant Canal+, responsible for international co-productions and pre-sale financing for both film and TV.
During those years Meunier, known for his good humor, became a perennial fixture at film festivals and industry markets, holding court from MIPCOM in Cannes to Mifed, Monte Carlo, Deauville, NATPE and the Los Angeles Screenings each May.
In 2002, he shifted gears to spearhead marketing and sales efforts at SmartJog SA, a digital content delivery system for TV distributors and post-production facilities. Later in his career he served as a consultant and producer for companies around the world. In retirement, he split time between homes in Normandy and Palm Beach.
Meunier is survived by his wife, former 20th Century Fox and MGM distribution executive Patti Jennings; his daughter Lucie; and his sister Francine.
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