22 M€ advance on contract
by Fabien Lemercier
26/01/2005 - Helping first works or independant feature films which daringly refuse to fit the market's standards is a main concern for the French Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC); the question is dealt with by means of advances on contracts. In 2005, the amount of this selective help to production will reach 22 million euros (as opposed to 20,85 million euros in 2004, which still allowed to finance, amongst other things, 24 first feature films and 14 second works). It is worth mentioning that this year the CNC will also allow a budget of over 254 million euros for the national film industry in general —that is, 160,5 million euros dedicated to systematic support, and 93,88 million for selective help.
Other changes are in process in the CNC: the director, Catherine Colonna, has just announced the names of the personalities who will this year constitute the two selection committees presided by Claude Durand. Vice-presidents for the 1st committee (first feature films) and the 2d one (dedicated to selecting projects by directors who have already released a feature film) are two producers: Michel Saint-Jean (Diaphana) and Bruno Pesery (Arena Films). The first group includes an actor, Gilbert Melki, two directors, Laurent Bouhnik and Claire Simon, a producer, Grégoire Sorlat (Why Not Productions), a writer, Gonzague Saint-Bris, a journalist , Agnès Catherine Poirier, and Prune Engler will represent La Rochelle Film Festival. In the second committee, we find two directors, Benoît Jacquot and Chantal Akerman, producer Caroline Benjo (Haut et Court), publisher Manuel Carcassonne, the actor Sami Frey, and two journalists, Claire Clouzot and Michel Crépu.
It is worth pointing out that amongst this year's nominees for the Oscar (the list was published last Monday, 24th of January), 8 films have benefitted from the above-mentioned advances on contract: L'esquive [trailer] by Abdellatif Kechiche, Rois et reines by Arnaud Desplechin, Clean by Olivier Assayas, Exils by Tony Gatlif, Brodeuses d’Eléonore Faucher, Quand la mer monte by Gilles Porte and Yolande Moreau, Violence des échanges en milieu tempéré [trailer] by Jean-Marc Moutout, and Jonathan Nossiter's Mondovino.
(Translated from French)