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IRIS 2010-5:1/23


Ways of Boosting French Fiction on Television

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Amélie Blocman


Inaugurating the international market for television programmes (MIPTV) on 12 April, the Minister for Culture and Communication Frédéric Mitterrand recalled his preoccupation with the difficult situation French fiction finds itself in, seriously affected as it is by the economic crisis. On the basis of the annual balance sheet of the national cinematographic centre (Centre National Cinématographique - CNC), highlighting a volume of French fiction on television that was 17.6% lower than in 2008, whereas all the other genres (documentaries, animation, live shows) had increased in 2009, the Minister has launched initiatives in two major areas, based on the proposals contained in a report by the Club Galilée. The Club was instructed in September 2009 to consider the issue, and has just delivered its conclusions. These are focused on the editorial aspect and the economic aspect. Concerning editorial issues, the report advocates the creation of an obligation of diversity, with a view to developing new formats, which would include adapting the current arrangements for aid governed by the CNC, particularly regarding filming languages and international distribution. The Minister announced his desire to see the role of authors strengthened, and advocated encouragement for writing and project development, and the setting up of a system of ongoing training, which was also proposed in the report. Philippe Chevalier has been given the task of assessing these proposals and their implementation. The other aspect involves the diversification of models and sources of financing the production of fiction. The Club Galilée’s report stresses the importance of increasing resources for audiovisual creation in general, through the harmonisation of European and French rules on advertising and the institution of real equality of treatment of the Internet and television. The report also proposes withholding the programme industry support account tax (Compte de Soutien à l'Industrie des Programmes - COSIP) from the turnover of all IAPs and not just half of them, as at present. It is also considered desirable for the advertising turnover of audiovisual content hosts to be subject to the COSIP tax in the same way as those of the television channels, according to the report. In return, it advocates an extension of the use of the CNC’s aid arrangements to the new formats for fiction, taking into account the new broadcasting networks, such as broadcasting in 3D, for example. It also expresses the wish that the companies in the sector, which are often under-capitalised, could have access to the arrangements for aid for SMBs, the research tax credit and perhaps even the Strategic Investment Fund (Fonds d'Investissement Stratégique - FIS). Both the Club Galilée and the Minister wish to develop an industrial policy by elevating audiovisual creation to the level of a “strategic area of activity” within the recovery plan. A steering committee will assess the proposals put forward and their actual transposition. Frédéric Mitterrand has also announced the launch of the mission on “Television prospects in 2015”, a working party that will be required to formulate scenarios for possible evolution and specific proposals. The mission will involve all the professionals in the sector.

Rapport de mission : « Crise et relance de la fiction française » du Club Gallilée, remis le 9 avril 2010 FR
  Mission report entitled “Crisis and recovery of French fiction” by the Club Galilée, delivered on 9 April 2010