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INDUSTRY France

Production 2013: funding under the microscope

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- TV pre-purchases, mandates, public subsidies… the CNC deciphers the investments made in French film production

Production 2013: funding under the microscope

Following the late-January announcement (see news) of the slight slow-down in French film production in 2013 to 270 feature films (as against 279 in 2012), including 116 international co-productions (read the article), and the 7.2% fall in investment to €1.25 billion, the CNC has now unveiled in its annual report all of the details of a downward trend that seems to have been accentuated at the start of this year (see news).

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The deciphering of 2013 funding is particularly notable for the 18.9% fall in investment by TV channels (€291.7 million, representing the lowest level since 2006), which covered a total of 27.3% of investment in the 209 majority French productions (FIFs). Having been involved in pre-purchasing and/or co-producing 140 FIFs, the television companies also contributed 5.8% to the budgets of minority French co-productions (21 films).

Pay-per-view channels pre-purchased 142 films (including 128 FIFs) for an overall sum of €190.22 million, including with key player Canal+ (€160.44 million of pre-purchases for 126 films, including 13 minority co-productions), Ciné+ (€18.17 million) and Orange Cinéma Séries (€11.56 million). Free channels invested €101.54 million (a figure that has decreased by 20%) in 100 films (including 12 minority ones) with TF1 (€37.40 million over 14 FIFs), France 2 (€22.96 million at -41.4% for 24 titles, including 22 FIFs), France 3 (€19.04 million, also for 24 films, including 22 FIFs), M6 (€10.48 million at -52.4% across five FIFs), Arte France (€7.67 million for 25 features, of which 17 were minority French co-productions) and the newest free TNT channels (€3.99 million in total, including €2.24 million for Direct 8, the rest being divided amongst France 0, Gulli, TMC and W9). There was also a notably increasing concentration of the investment by free private channels in a number of big-budget films.

The share of mandates rose to €249.76 million, or 24.5% of the funding for FIFs, an increasing percentage because of the return to form in 2013 of the MG (Minimum Guarantee) of international sales, (+116.5% to €141.97 million). On the other hand, the advances of the French theatre distributors fell by 30.4% to €12.59 million, much like those of the video editors (-31.9% to €5.98 million) and the cross-lateralised mandates (encompassing several types of exploitation rights), which fell 21.1 % to €89.23 million.

French producers made direct investments of €293.69 million (or 28.8% of the funding of FIFs), backed up by €87.72 million in foreign investments (8.6% of the budgets). Added to this are the commitments by Sofica (investment companies for film and audiovisual production), which rose to €32.03 million (3.1% of the funding).

Public subsidies represented 7.9% of the funding of the FIFs, through automatic support (€30.02 million) and selective subsidies (€27.77 million) from the CNC, as well as regional funding (€20.98 million). Lastly, the benefit provided by the tax credit was requested by 131 FIFs.

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(Translated from French)

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