Country Focus: France
CNC speeds up transition to digital
by Fabien Lemercier
28/09/2009 - At the 64th Congress of the National Federation of French Cinemas (FNCF), which opens today in Deauville, the National Film Centre (CNC) will officially present to exhibitors its mutual financing plan for movie theatres’ transition to digital projection. Designed to avoid the emergence of a two-speed exhibition sector, the system could enable 3,500 theatres to rapidly equip themselves with digital (around 650 theatres are already equipped).
Among the main ideas to be outlined on Wednesday by CNC Director General Véronique Cayla is the creation of a mutualisation fund to which distributors would contribute via a VPF (Virtual Print Fee) per print. Over a period of seven to nine years, it would pay out monthly instalments to exhibitors, covering 75% of their investment in digital equipment.
Exhibitors would be completely free to choose their equipment and the IFCIC (Institute for Film and Cultural Industry Financing) would be able to guarantee up to 50% of the possible loans taken out by exhibitors. The CNC will also launch an incentive system for the digitalisation of works with grants that could cover up to two-thirds of the cost of the digital master print.
At the FNCF’s four-day congress, exhibitors will also analyse "Movie Theatre Marketing" on Tuesday. Distributors will present their line-ups on Thursday with a series of trailer screenings, to be attended by numerous actors and directors.
The programme also includes avant-premières of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Micmacs [trailer] (starring Dany Boon, to be released by Warner on October 28); Steve Suissa’s Mensch [trailer] (see news - ARP Sélection, November 25); Le Vilain [trailer] (“The Villain”), directed by and starring Albert Dupontel (also featuring Catherine Frot and Bouli Lanners - StudioCanal, November 25); and Laurent Perreau’s L'Insurgée [trailer] (“The Rebel”, see news - Sophie Dulac Distribution, December 30).