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INDUSTRY France

Independent producers put up a fight

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- Denouncing the State’s decision to extend the new collective convention of cinematographic production, independent producers launch a boycott

Independent producers put up a fight

Signed by the API (an association uniting Pathé, Gaumont, MK2 and UGC) and the unions of the SNTPCT (cinema and television technicians), CGT, CGC, CFTC and a branch of the FO, the collective convention defining work conditions in the cinematographic production sector has been a very thorny issue for the past few months, with organizations of independent cinema producers who did not sign the convention believing that it will strike a destructive blow to French cinema. The very recent decision of the Ministers of Employment and Culture to extend this convention on July 1st to the entirety of the profession brought about a strong reaction yesterday from the APC (Association des Producteurs de Cinéma), SPI (Syndicat des Producteurs Indépendants), AFPF (Association Française des Producteurs de Films) and UPF (Union des Producteurs de Films), who decided to cease all participation in commissions or professional committees (CNC approval and advance on receipts, for example).

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In a joint statement, the four organizations declare that they “have not ceased to alert the public authorities” on the consequences of this collective convention “with regard to the destruction of jobs and films” (which they estimate could reach as many as 50 feature films less each year and 20 to 30 additional filming relocations). Indignant at "the persistent refusal of public authorities to give any consideration to their words, writings or actions”, they emphasize that they “cannot accept, while  representing 95% of the films produced in France, to be treated with such thoughtlessness and contempt”. The four organizations also express “their astonishment when seeing their own supervisory regulators, to the detriment of the sector’s general interest, contradict to this extent their own commitments to employment and cultural diversity.” To be continued...

This striking new development has overshadowed an announcement by the CNC regarding the adjustment of its film distribution subsidies to alleviate risk-taking on an increasingly challenging market with a trend towards bipolarization (more serious failures and average results becoming rarer). Amongst the measures, a bonus notably stands out in favour of distributors investing in a minimum guarantee (MG) in French majority productions with budgets under 4 M€ and no pre-financing from a public channel, but also a valorisation of selective subsidies for the distribution of films in art and experimental venues. 

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(Translated from French)

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