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France supports cinema throughout the world

Cannes, showcase of French coproduction

 

From the 11th to the 22nd of May 2016, Cannes rolled out the red carpet for the 69th consecutive year. This Cannes Film  Festival is considered the most prestigious cinema festival in the world and a showcase for global cinema, but also of French coproductions.

 

In Cannes, France is not an extra

This year, over 95 films were screened during the Cannes Film Festival, of which 21 as part of the competition for the Palme d’or award. Among the 14 countries in the official selection, France took the lead with no less than four films screened: "From the Land of the Moon", by Nicole Garcia, "Slack Bay", by Bruno Dumont, "Personal Shopper" by Olivier Assayas and "Staying Vertical" by Alain Guiraudie. But there was something that the festival goers maybe did not know: France is also more present outside of film rooms.

As a promoter of cultural diversity and decisive pillar of global film industry, the French Centre national du cinéma (CNC) participated to the financing of 12 films presented in the festival. Among them, "Sieranevada" by Romanian Cristi Puiu, "Elle" by Dutch Paul Verhoeven and "It's Only the End of the World" by Canadian Xavier Dolan, all three in the official competition. But also "Clash" by Eguptian Mohamed Diab, screened in the Un certain regard section, or "Endless Poetry" by Chilean Alejandro Jodorowsky screened during the Directors' Fortnight.

 

French support to foreign directors

The French financing scheme of cinema is a source of admiration in the world. It was born in 1946 with the creation of the CNC, a public authority now supervised by the Ministry of Culture. The political action of the CNC was obvious in the post-war years: the idea was to support French film creation as opposed to the "American way of life" seen in Hollywood productions.

The first financial support was created in 1948 for producers and cinema operators. Many other followed: a "bonus for quality" for short films, an "advance on earnings" for films, support to development, production, coproduction, distribution... More recently, the CNC committed to multilateral policies to boost international productions. Among them, the Aide aux cinémas du monde (help to global cinemas) was implemented to support production in developing countries.

Contrarily to other public financing schemes, the CNC is not fuelled by taxes but by various taxes on audio-visual sector. They generate about 700 million Euros per year.

 

First coproduction system worldwide

Through its place in global cinema industry, France bears a strong message in favour of art diversity. Today, about 40% of films supported by the CNC, which represents in average 50 films per year, are coproductions produced in other countries. As such, France has the most significant coproduction system in the world.

Belgium, Germany and Italy are preferred partners of France, by the scheme knows no borders. In 2015, this scheme allowed "Lamb" by Yared Zeleke to be the first Ethipian film ever screened in the Cannes Festival.

 

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