The SOFICAS are back
by Fabien Lemercier
12/12/2003 - After a troubling period, the SOFICAS (Companies for the funding of the cinema and audiovisual industry) are back on the scene. 2002 saw the disappearance of Gimages and Studio Images (linked to Canal +) and the slowdown of requests to free up funding: only 7 SOFICAS managed to reach the ceiling set by the French finance minister (€46 million). However, 2003 has seen a renewed interest among investors for this system, which includes tax. This year 10 SOFICAS have already requested for the release of funding worth €64m.
These companies include 4 regulars: Cofimages is taking part for the 16th time, with €6m, BP Images Natexis will be investing €6.5m for the 5th time in this scheme, Sogecinéma will be participating for the 3rd year with €6,5m for film production and Valor will once again be investing in audiovisual production with €4m.
After entering the scheme for the first time last year, Millifin (created by Millimages) and Uniétoile will be continuing their commitment, and will be respectively releasing funding of €3 and €2.5m.
Cofinova is back with an investment of €3.5m, while this year sees three new companies getting involved: EuropaCorp (€3m), Carrimages from the Carrère Group(4) and Soficinéma, which is able to invest €7m targeting a specific sector: to help films distributed by independent companies.
The SOFICAS, with a maximum ceiling of €46m, are now proving to be a powerful force in the film and audiovisual industry, just when they were thought to have had their day. 82% of the total budget will be invested in film production.
(Translated from French)