Industry – France
Country Focus: France
Production 2014: funding under the microscope
by Fabien Lemercier
- TV pre-purchases, mandates, public subsidies… the CNC breaks down the investments made in French film production
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.
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.
(Translated from French)
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