One of every two films at risk
- French filmmakers forced to terminate their projects due to lack of necessary funding
The list of film projects terminated or postponed due to financial problems
is growing. Alain Terzian, President of the Film Producer's Union (UPF), broke the silence during an inquiry by French Daily, «Le Monde». «We have already
exceeded the level of an alert. At present we must consider that one of
every two films may be interrupted.»
The satellite channel stands accused of delaying its responses to requests for financing and of operating less and less in favour of independent producers. They have also been charged with progressively distancing themselves from European projects or with involving themselves only at the last minute (i.e. after investments have been made by independent distributors, private investors, and television channels.) Refuting this assertion, Canal +, (whose contract with cinema professionals extends to 2004) has announced its investment figures without, however, giving the details: 82 films were pre-purchased since January, of which one third were first works, for a total of 117 million Euros. The number of feature films produced in France is growing, however, (204 films in 2001) and all sources of funding are solicited excessively. Financing that provides an advance on the film's takings are literally besieged with requests and even great, well-known directors like Jacques Rivette and Claude Miller can be rejected by the commission. Under the direction of the President of CNC, David Kessler, a reform of this type of assistance is being considered. (33 films out of 347 requests were funded in 2001). The CNC will consider whether aid to large companies should be reduced in favour of the funding of independent producers.
(Translated from French)
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