[FR] Strengthening of health measures: Culture Minister announces new support for cinemas and the performing arts

IRIS 2020-10:1/20

Amélie Blocman


On 14 October, as the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, Emmanuel Macron imposed a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. in France’s eight largest cities and throughout Ile-de-France. Much to the disappointment of film industry representatives, evening cinema screenings, which are crucial for cinema operators, were therefore prohibited. On 22 October, the President of the Republic extended the curfew to a further 38 départements. Six days later, he announced a nationwide lockdown, including the closure of all cinemas.

On 22 October, as part of the support and assistance measures put in place for the cultural sector during the period of tighter health-related restrictions, the Minister of Culture announced two series of specific measures designed to support cinemas and the performing arts during the lockdown.

In the case of the cinema industry, for example, EUR 30 million will be provided to enable cinemas to remain open in spite of the economic consequences of the curfew. Four new measures were also announced to support the entire film industry: a surcharge on all ticket prices in curfew zones, paid by the state and donated to distributors; an increase in the automatic support generated by distributors during the initial six-week curfew period; a doubling of the normal scale of automatic support for producers over the same period, up to 1.5 million admissions; and finally, the replenishment of the "compensation" fund for operators’ losses in order to take into account the additional loss of turnover caused by the curfew for cinemas.

As for the performing arts sector, the Minister of Culture announced that an additional EUR 85 million would be mobilised to safeguard programming and venues, enabling them to remain open, albeit with smaller audiences and staggered hours. As regards live musical performances, the existing protection and compensation funds will receive an additional EUR 55 million, EUR 3 million of which is intended for authors. For non-musical performing arts (theatre, dance, circus and street arts in particular), an extra EUR 20 million will be provided to support both the private and subsidised sectors, including authors. The minister also confirmed that the strengthening of the transversal measures announced by the Minister of the Economy, Finance and Recovery on 15 October would apply to the entire cultural sector.

With venues closed until 1 December at least, the sector will be more dependent than ever on financial support from both the state and the Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée (National Centre of Cinematography and the Moving Image – CNC). The Prime Minister announced that filming could continue during the lockdown.


This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.