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PRODUCTION France

Assessment 2007 (1): A very good year

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With 228 features accredited in 2007, including 185 French Initiative Films (FIF), it was an excellent year for French film production, marked by a record level of investment and a reduction in the bipolarisation of the industry, with a resurgence of medium-budget films.

These were the main points put forward by Véronique Cayla, director general of the National Centre for Cinematography (CNC), during the press conference outlining the assessment of French film production in 2007.

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With 228 films (25 more than in 2006), the 2007 production results are the second highest of the past decade (after 240 in 2005), a figure largely achieved due to the increase in FIFs (+21) and majority co-productions (52 compared to 37 last year).

The number of accredited minority French co-productions rose only slightly (by four, to 43 features).

The number of FIFs filmed in a foreign language also increased (16 in 2007, including 7 in English, compared to 9 and 5 respectively in 2006)

In terms of investment in FIFs, the €1bn threshold was reached for the first time (the previous 2005 record was €933m) thanks to €907m from French sources (+16.8%) and €96m from foreign sources (+9.4%).

This financial volume, whose level of growth (+16%) is greater than the increase in the number of films (+12.8%), enabled medium-sized budgets to shoot up to €5.43m, compared to €5.27m in 2006.

Cayla was particularly pleased with the growth recorded for medium-budget films (€4-7m), which rose to 29 after a dramatic fall between 2004 and 2006 (from 59 to 19).

She explained that this upturn was due to a constructive dialogue with Canal +, but nonetheless emphasised that "the problem was not solved" and that this category of films should constitute a priority, as should the preparative work (writing and development) for which the CNC has markedly increased its funding.

Finally, at the extreme ends of production in 2007, 12 films were made on a budget of over €15m and 35 FIFs were made for less than €1m.

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(Translated from French)

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