The future of the French film industry and the challenges it faces to be debated in Dijon
by Fabien Lemercier
- Current tensions and potential solutions are on the agenda of the ARP’s 29th Film Meetings, unfurling 6 – 8 November
When Mars Films - one of the most active French independent distributers over recent years – was placed into administration in August this year, winds of worry swept through the nation’s film industry. Though France’s cinema sector still packs a punch, it must nonetheless contend with a contraction in production funding (read our news), not to mention the explosive growth of SVOD platforms, which are still a long way off from securing the abundant levels of resources enjoyed by TV networks (this is especially the case for Canal+, a cornerstone of the French pre-purchasing system, whose falling numbers of subscriptions in France are a major source of concern).
Whence the crucial yet complicated challenge of incorporating streaming platforms into the sophisticated support system for French creations, all the while ensuring the diversity of works is preserved. It’s against this backdrop that the 29th Film Meetings as organised by the ARP (the French Civil Society of Authors, Directors and Producers) will be opening today in Dijon, where, until 8 November, over 600 top-tier professionals will discuss the most decisive issues for the future of the 7th art in France. It’s an event made even more unmissable by the presence of the French Minister for Culture, Franck Riester, who will explain the objectives of his audiovisual bill and the way in which it will be implemented, promising to shuffle the decks by including SVOD platforms within the funding system for French creations as of 2020 (imposing investment obligations on these platforms, and a quota in terms of the number of European works to be made available).
Indeed, among those participating in the debate intitled "Audiovisual Law: Is France still a land of culture?", which is set to be held on Thursday, we find Marie-Laure Daridan (Netflix France), who will be discussing this question with Frédéric Brillion (The French Union of Film Producers), David Kessler (Orange Content), Pierre-Antoine Capton (Mediawan, who are racking up acquisitions like there’s no tomorrow, in France but also in wider Europe, as seen with the Italian production company Palomar), Thomas Valentin (M6) and Roch-Olivier de Maistre (President of the French Audiovisual Council), among others.
Presided over by filmmakers Jeanne Herry and Cédric Klapisch, these ARP Meetings will also host a debate on public service broadcasters, which is set to take place tomorrow and will involve the likes of Delphine Ernotte Cunci (France Télévisions), Marie Masmonteil (Elzévir Films and The French Syndicate of Independent Producers), John McVay (the British association of independent film and audiovisual producers Pact UK) and Régine Hatchondo (Managing Director of Arte France).
On Friday, it will be the turn of the CNC to slide under the microscope, with a focus on the new challenges and functions to be absorbed by the Centre. These matters will be discussed with its President Dominique Boutonnat (who, before being appointed to his current position, submitted an interesting report on the private financing of film and audiovisual production and distribution, which can be downloaded here), the president of the Federation of French Exhibitors Richard Patry, producer Sylvie Pialat (Les Films du Worso), screenwriter Guillaume Laurant and Alain Sussfeld (UGC).
In addition to the afore-mentioned discussions, the event will also host a number of film premieres in the presence of their directors (Perfect Nanny by Lucie Borleteau, I Wish Someone Were Waiting For Me Somewhere by Arnaud Viard, The Dazzled by Sarah Suco, Only The Animals [+see also:
interview: Dominik Moll
film profile] by Dominik Moll and Notre Dame [+see also:
film profile] by Valérie Donzelli) and a Special Screening of Costa Gavras’ Adults in the Room [+see also:
film profile] to boot.
(Translated from French)
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