An exceptional plan of economic support unveiled for the French film industry
- The CNC reviews the measures adopted by the State to help French businesses withstand the current crisis, which now include specific provisions for film and audiovisual works
Accelerated payment, from March, of Arthouse (“Art et Essai”) subsidies earmarked for the country’s 1,200 qualifying cinemas and of selective support for distributers; the suspension of the March deadline on cinema admissions tax (TSA); the rapid adoption of a provision allowing exploiters, distributers and producers to access their support funds in advance, and the payment of subsidies earmarked for events cancelled for health reasons… The CNC has announced five specific measures for the film and audiovisual industry, in addition to the overall provisions agreed by the French State with a view to supporting the country’s economic actors as they battle with the consequences of the Coronavirus health crisis.
Equally noteworthy is the State’s pledge to bring forward tax credits on eligible 2019 expenditure (cinema, audiovisual, international productions) - credits which wouldn’t usually be applied until 2020.
Needless to say, businesses in the sector have also been accounted for within the overall support mechanism implemented by the French government for all sectors of the economy, namely via a State guarantee (up to €300 billion) offered to French banks for loans granted to any business in France, a solidarity fund (€1 billion) for small companies who are struggling as a result of administrative closure or a 70% drop in activity, and an action plan put forward by the investment bank Bpifrance (€3 billion). The latter will guarantee up to 90% of banks for 3-7-year loans, for 12-18-month overdrafts, for unsecured 3-5-year loans (up to €5 million for SMEs, and tens of millions of euros for mid-cap companies) and for the suspension of loan deadlines agreed with Bpifrance. The IFCIC (Institute for the Funding of Film and Cultural Industries) is likewise offering its guarantee to banks - up to 70% - for all loans granted in the current context and will systematically extend credit guarantees held with these banks upon their request.
In addition to this, deadlines for the payment of social security contributions and taxes have been adjusted, French businesses can resort to reduced hours of work (with the State fully absorbing salary payments of up to 4.5 times the minimum wage) and specific measures for contract workers in the entertainment industry have also just been announced (notably ensuring the continuity of compensation payments)."
According to Dominique Boutonnat, president of the CNC, "if these measures prove insufficient in protecting film and audiovisual businesses from bankruptcy, or in protecting creators themselves, the CNC will set about investigating additional measures." And, looking beyond the present crisis, governing bodies must also plan for the future: "in league with the State and all relevant professional organisations, the CNC is reflecting upon the measures which will be required to ensure the rapid revival of all these industries’ activities, as soon as healthcare guidelines allow for this."
(Translated from French)
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