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Country Focus: France

Production 2014: funding under the microscope


Production 2014: funding under the microscope

- Following the early-February announcement (see the news) of the slight slow-down in French film production in 2014 to 258 feature films (as against 270 in 2013), including 106 international co-productions, and the significant 20.2% decline in investment to €994.13 million, the CNC has now unveiled all of the details in its annual report, enabling us to analyse this downward trend.

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The breakdown of the 2014 funding situation is marked particularly by the 45% slump in mandates (theatrical distribution, video editing, foreign exhibition), which stood at €155.86 million last year and which covered 17.2% of the funding of majority French productions (as against 24.5% in 2013). Also of note are the cross-lateralised mandates (encompassing several types of exploitation rights), which reached €65.56 million (for 99 films) as against €90.93 million in 2013, the advances of the French theatrical distributors (€11.69 million for 68 films), those of the video editors (€6.93 million for 30 films) and the MGs (Minimum Guarantees) of international sales (€71.23 million for 86 films – including 67 films of French initiative, or FIFs – as against €158.27 million for 92 titles in 2013).

TV channels invested €291.17 million in 143 movies (including 126 FIFs), a steady level of investment for a lower number of works (-18). Pay-per-view channels got on board 136 films (including 122 FIFs) for an overall sum of €177.96 million (-6.4%), particularly in the case of Canal+ (€135.88 million in pre-purchases for 103 films, as against €160.44 million for 126 films the previous year), Ciné+ (€14.87 million for 83 films – ie, 22 fewer features than in 2013) and OCS (€27,15 million for 41 features, 23 more titles than the previous year). Free channels invested €113.22 million (a total up by 11.5%) in 104 films (including 11 minority productions), with TF1 (€27.72 million – a significant drop of 25.9% - in 13 movies, all of which were FIFs), France 2 (€26.85 million, an increase of 16.9%, in 27 titles, 25 of which were FIFs), France 3 (€23.67 million, up by 24.3%, in 33 films, including 30 FIFs), M6 (€23.08 million, a spectacular increase of 120.2%, in 11 films), Arte France (€6.6 million – 15 features – ten fewer films than in 2013 – including ten minority French co-productions) and the newest free TNT channels (€5.3 million in 28 pre-purchased FIFs – as against 17 the year before – including ten films for Direct 8 and ten for TMC). Interestingly, 37.9% of the films of French initiative were not funded by any TV channel, but this sector was still far and away the number-one funder of majority French productions, as it covered 34.6% of their budgets.

French producers made direct investments of €238.65 million (ie, 29.9% of the funding of FIFs), backed up by €45.94 million in foreign investments (5.7% of the budgets of FIFs). Added to this are the commitments by the Soficas (investment companies for film and audiovisual production), which stood at €33.99 million in 103 films (or 3.9% of the funding of FIFs).

Public subsidies represented 8.9% of the funding of the FIFs, through automatic support (€26.37 million) and selective subsidies (€25.7 million for the advance on receipts) from the CNC, as well as regional funding (2% of the overall funding of FIFs). Lastly, the benefit provided by the tax credit was requested by 128 FIFs.


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