A sector on the cusp of change
by Fabien Lemercier
- 700 professionals will meet at the Dijon Film Meetings for debates targeting the future of creation and examining what is in store for the distribution of cinematic works
One of the major strengths of the French film industry, a true spearhead of European creation, has always been its ability to adapt and to regulate. Nevertheless, the speed of the changes that have come about as a result of digital technology (the emergence of new players, and changes in distribution methods and consumption patterns) does not necessarily always go hand in hand with the very sophisticated mechanisms that exist for the promotion of the seventh art in France, at all stages of the process. The challenge of how to induce change without calling into question the overall balance will therefore be at the heart of the issues on the menu of the 24th Film Meetings organised in Dijon from 16-18 October by the ARP (the Civil Society of Writers-Directors-Producers – read the interview with its managing director, Florence Gastaud).
The “guest stars” among the 700 professionals in attendance will include Fleur Pellerin, the French Minister of Culture, as well as Janneke Slöetjes, the director of European policy at Netflix.
Among the three debates on the programme is one that tackles the subject “Neutrality of the net vs cultural exception: what regulatory framework could still halt the devaluing of cinema and culture?”. This will see the participation of Rodolphe Belmer (managing director of Canal+), Frédérique Bredin (CEO of the CNC), Maxime Lombardini (Illiad/Free) and Olivier Schrameck (CEO of the CSA), among other industry figures. Their talks will touch on the fall in the economic value of films caused by the increase in supply and the shifting of power towards distributors (internet service providers, cable and satellite TV), to the detriment of the long-established broadcasters.
On Saturday, the debate “Netflix, and what then?” will see Vincent Grimond (Wild Bunch), Marc Missonnier (Fidélité Productions – CEO of the Association of Film Producers), Christopher Libertelli, (Netflix’s vice-president and head of public policy) and Manuel Alduy (managing director of Canal OTT) take the floor, among others.
Lastly, a debate on the “Theatrical exhibition of films: how can we find the best conditions for distributing film works?” will be led by Daniel Goudineau (France 3 Cinéma), and will involve such speakers as Jean Labadie (Le Pacte), Olivier Grandjean (director of programming at Pathé), Etienne Ollagnier (Jour2Fête, joint CEO of the Union of Independent Distributors) and Richard Patry (CEO of the National Federation of French Cinemas).
Filmmakers will not be left out, as on Saturday Emmanuelle Bercot will exchange words with Abderrahmane Sissako (the chair of this edition of the Meetings) and Costa Gavras about their careers, their working methods and their ideas about the profession, during a debate led by Michel Hazanavicius. It is interesting to note that Dijon will also welcome Julie Bertuccelli, Bérénice Bejo, Catherine Corsini, Pierre Schoeller, Rémi Bezançon, Christophe Barratier and Eric Lartigau.
(Translated from French)