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France's film production approval reform gets the green light


- A new points system changes the game for 100% French films and international co-productions

France's film production approval reform gets the green light
(l-r) CNC director of cinema Xavier Lardoux, SACD general manager Pascal Rogard, Scam president Julie Bertuccelli, CNC president Frédérique Bredin, UGC general manager Alain Sussfeld, Illumination Mac Guff's Jacques Bled and Approval Commission producer Antoine Rein (© CNC)

"Approval rules haven't changed for 18 years while the sector has evolved considerably, with the digital revolution, economic relocation and the internationalisation of productions. It was essential to modernise the way in which we provide support so that we can meet the content creation conditions of today and tomorrow," stated Frédérique Bredin, president of the CNC, when talking about the film production approval reforms yesterday, which are due to come into force on 1 January 2018, following the European Commission’s authorisation of the new system.

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This approval plays a decisive role in the production of French feature films, as well as co-productions with minor or major French participation. It is indeed the gateway to receiving support from the CNC and allows producers to access automatic support (generated by the number of admissions, sales to TV channels and video sales, amounting to €60,000,000 for the 283 French licensed feature films in 2016). The system is based on three 100-point scales (for fiction, documentaries and animated titles), with the more points accumulated by a film leading to the greater amount of automatic financial support generated for the producer.

Finalised after a wide consultation conducted by the CNC with professionals in the film industry, the new approval system offers adjustments in three main areas. The first being the integration of the digital revolution, with the significant addition of visual effects to the calculation of financial support, as well as the consideration of all new digital-related professions, such as post-production coordinators, special effects supervisors, etc. The second system change relates to reinforcing the relocation of productions to France (which has been net since the adoption of new tax credits - read the news here), seeing as the total number of expenses incurred in France will now be taken into account. The cultural dimension of support and the internationalisation of content have also been taken into consideration, with the validation of writing, and adjustments to the points system for the use of the French language in films (20 points in total, but 10 points will now also available for films in which 30% of spoken dialogue is in French). The reforms have also taken into account French international minority co-productions by reducing the minimum approval threshold from 25 to 20 points.

The new, detailed approval scales can be downloaded from the CNC website (here).

(Translated from French)

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