Counterattack by Canal+
- The crisis hit pay-TV channel has refuted claims that it's neglected independent productions to concentrate on big budget films produced by it's affiliates
After criticism from several producers, pay-TV channel Canal+ has
broken the silence. In an interview with French news agency, AFP, the
person responsible for the purchase of French films for the channel,
Nathalie Bloch-Lainé, called cinema professionals to a more constructive
dialogue. «We are not simply a cash desk. There is not a set fee for
investments and within the scope of our obligations, we have the right to
Canal+ has been accused of avoiding their responsibilities by neglecting
independent productions in favour of high budget films or projects from their
affiliates. According to Ms.Bloch-Lainé, Canal+ is «the only television
channel that respects the diversity quota», though she later acknowledged
having asked for a redefinition of diversity last March.
Actually, the channel is obligated by law to invest 20% of its profits in
the acquisition of films, earmarking 9% for productions in the French
language (of which 45% must be used for films with budgets less than 5.3
This clause has been respected to the letter, since of 128 films purchased in 2002 (for a total of 120 million euro) 62 had a budget of less than 5.3 million euro, for a grand total of about 54 million euro, compared with 18 million in 2001. The clarification hasn't reduced the tension between the channel and French cinema. Feeling that their motives have been misconstrued, Canal+ has just cancelled a scheduled meeting with cinema professionals.
(Translated from French)
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