Jacques Audiard to preside over the Rencontres de Dijon
by Fabien Lemercier
- The 25th edition, to be held from 22 to 24 October 2015 by the ARP, will be deciphering the trends of an industry marked by the new face of Canal+
Following on from Pierre Lescure and Abderrahmane Sissako, who presided over the 2013 and 2014 editions, is filmmaker Jacques Audiard (whose Palme d’Or-winning film Dheepan [+see also:
Q&A: Jacques Audiard
film profile] is currently being shown in French theatres), who will preside over the 25th Rencontres Cinématographiques, which will be held in Dijon from 22 to 24 October 2015.
Organised by the ARP (Civil Society of Writers-Directors-Producers), one of the most influential professional associations in France, this anniversary edition will notably focus on film and regulation, while the summer was characterised by upheaval caused by Canal+, the main financier of French film whose owner, the Vivendi group, fired all the big bosses. A big clean-up operation was carried out in double-quick time by businessman Vincent Bolloré, who took complete control of Vivendi (he also owns Universal Music and bought out video platform Dailymotion in July) and wants to set up one amalgamated group.
For the record, Canal+’s investments in French film production represented €135.88 million in pre-sales for 103 films in 2014. Renewed with difficulty in May for five years, the agreement (negotiated on the basis of legal obligations) binding Canal+ to French film saw the former allocate 12.5% of its annual turnover to pre-sales (a minimum 85% of the total sum) and the purchase of European and French films, with 9.6% going on feature films originally in French. Out of the total, 17% will be allocated to films with a budget of less than €4 million, guaranteeing a certain level of diversity of productions. This investment joints the €14.87 million set aside in 2014 by Ciné+ for 83 French feature films, the €2.4 million spent on 10 films by free channel TNT Direct 8 (which is going to be renamed C8), VoD via CanalPlay and the striking force of ‘major’ European player StudioCanal (which produces, purchases, distributes and handles the international sales of films and TV series – notably under its own name in France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and New Zealand – which holds the global rights to a copious collection of 5,000 films).
In short, a small empire in which strategic changes can have a knock-on effect on the entire French film industry, and a story which should be followed very closely to see if anyone else will be appointed as decision-maker of the Canal+ Group in the specific area of film, after Vincent Bolloré announced the return of Didier Lupfer yesterday, without giving details of the position he would take up. Lupfer left the group in the mid-2000, going on to work at One World Films and Ubisoft Motion Pictures. It’s a discussion point which is sure to animate the Rencontres Cinématographiques de Dijon backstage.
(Translated from French)