Amazon Prime Video Appoints Sahar Baghery as Head of Content in France

Sahar Baghery has been appointed head of content for Amazon’s Prime Video in France, succeeding Isabelle Bertrand.

The Paris-born executive joined Prime Video in 2018 as head of business development for France and the MENA region. She was then made head of worldwide business development. Most recently, she spearheaded the programming strategy for EMEA at Amazon Studios.

In her new role, she leads a team of local content experts to negotiate library deals with studios, buy second-window rights to movies and buy first-window rights to scripted series, direct-to-platform movies and exclusive documentaries.

The executive, who reports to Brigitte Ricou-Bellan, country director for Prime Video in France, aims to come on board series and films at an early stage, ideally before the start of production, and will be contributing to the co-production and financing of these titles. Baghery’s team is also actively looking at non-scripted and scouting for stand ups and other types of live shows.

The executive starts her new role at Prime Video in France at a pivotal time. The streamer now has to invest 20% of its annual revenues in France on local content — both series and movies — as part of a French decree that stemmed from the implementation of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMS).

The legislation was put forth by the European Commission to place streaming giants on an even playing field with existing players across Europe. France was the first country in Europe to have set out its new rules and regulations.

Aside from acquiring and investing in local content, Baghery’s team also has the ambition to work with international partners — including foreign producers, broadcasters and other TV players — on future projects.

While leading business development for France and the MENA region, Baghery played a key role in signing distribution deals with leading telco companies, including Orange and SFR.