[FR] Senate’s film industry information task force issues 14 proposals, including support for national online distributors
A report drawn up by the film industry information task force, created by the French Senate’s Cultural Affairs Committee to assess the current situation and, more importantly, map out future prospects for the film industry, was adopted on 24 May 2023.
In its report, the task force notes that the standard of French film-making must be maintained at a high level, in particular in a world in which distribution technologies and channels are evolving at lightning speed. In order to enable the film industry and cinemas to adapt and continue to play their dual role of promoting and showcasing artistic creation, the task force set out 14 operational recommendations, split into five sections. The authors also plan, in the near future, to table a bill implementing the recommendations that require legislative amendments as quickly as possible.
First of all, the task force recommends adapting support mechanisms to improve the funding of film production. Whilst it is unrealistic to determine the ‘right’ number of films, the authors consider it essential to adapt the support mechanisms operated by the Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée (National Centre for Cinema and the Moving Image – CNC) in order to prioritise productions that are better funded and distributed (recommendations 1 and 2). Attention should therefore be paid not to the number of films produced or supported, but to the estimated cost, in particular where so-called “films du milieu” (middle-of-the-road films) are concerned. Producers and distributors should be better rewarded for the success of a film. The task force therefore proposes adapting and strengthening the framework of programming and distribution commitments.
The task force also recommends relaxing the conditions for cinema exploitation. Since cinema operators are at the heart of what defines the identity of the film industry, the authors wish to give them greater influence in their efforts to promote it by facilitating online promotional initiatives and relaxing the approval policy for unlimited-access cinema passes.
The film industry should be more closely involved in major public policy-making so that it can become an exemplary cultural stakeholder. For example, the task force proposes that CNC funding should be conditional on environmental obligations being met during filming (recommendation 11), strict compliance with minimum remuneration rules for authors (recommendation 12) and preservation of France’s cinematographic heritage through the conservation of technical elements of film-making (recommendation 13).
Finally, the task force believes it is necessary, firstly, to provide a better guarantee of continuous access to films and, secondly, to support national online distributors by inviting partners to include in media chronology a “super premium” window between two and three months after cinema release.
After Bruno Lasserre’s report was published in mid-April (see Légipresse 2023.192), senator Roger Karoutchi, special rapporteur for the media, books and cultural industries task force, called for a review of the funding mechanisms in place for the film-making sector and proposed seven recommendations on public funding of the film industry.
- Le cinéma contre-attaque : entre résilience et exception culturelle, un art majeur qui a de l'avenir, Rapport d'information n° 630 (2022-2023), déposé le 24 mai 2023, Commission des affaires culturelles du Sénat
- Cinema fights back: between resilience and cultural exception, an important art form with a future. Information report no. 630 (2022-2023), published on 24 May 2023, Senate Cultural Affairs Committee
This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.