The funding behind record production figures in 2011
by Fabien Lemercier
28/03/2012 - Eric Garandeau, president of the National Centre for Cinema and the moving image (CNC), yesterday presented an assessment of 2011 French film production to the press, and gave details of the excellent news revealed in January (article): a record of 272 feature films for investisments of €1.39m.
"Production has remained very dynamic, very diversified, and very open to the world [120 co-productions with 38 countries],” he said. "And France is by large funding European cinema, mostly in trouble except in countries that invest in domestic cinema such as Denmark and Belgique."
A detailed explanation of the funding behind these figures revealed that television companies have indeed boosted the sector, with 32.4 % of the investments in the 207 films of French initiative (FIF). Subscription channels pre-bought 163 out of the 272 films produced in 2011 for a grand total of €234.67m. These included Canal + (€182.47m of pre-sales), TPS Star (€7.84 m), Ciné+ (€23.93m), and Orange Cinéma Séries (€20.43m). The non-subscription channels invested €143.8m (66.2% in pre-sales and 33.8% in co-production). Thes included TF1 (€51.82m), France 2 (€42.95m), France 3 (€27.55m), M6 (€13.71m), Arte France (€7.85m), and the new free TNT channels like Direct 8 (€1.08m) and W9 (€0.62m).
The share of funding mandates continued to increase with €220.66m, about 19.6 % of FIF estimates: 79,27 M€ as a minimum guarantee (MG) for international sales, €51.38m invested by French theatrical distributors, and €15,72m by French video editors, besides the €74,29m generated by cross-lateralised mandates (that cover several categories of exploitation rights).
French producers directly provided 25,2% of the funding with €283.82m, supported by €118.24m inforeign contributions (10,5 %). Sofica companies (investment companies in cinematographic and audiovisual productions) then brought another €36.43m (3 % of the funding).
As for public aid, the CNC’s automatic funding (€63.49m), the advance on receipts (€21.28m), aid from different administrative territories (€20.96m), and tax shelter benefitted 131 films of French initiative.
Films of French initiative had budgets of varied sizes: 25.1 % had budgets above €7m (52 films of which 12 had budgets above €15m), while to 38.2 % had medium-sized budgets (79 films between €2m and €7m) and 36,7 % had small budgets of less than €2m (76 films). Finally, up to 72.5 % of the films were shot in digital, compared to only 45,3 % in 2010.
(Translated from French)