On 22 June, we will again go to the cinema. But how to get the public into the cinemas with an offer strong enough to take the road opposite to that of the platforms, while allowing the films less solid benefit of dissemination conditions are favourable ? And how to make it so that the shoots are to be insured against the risk of interruption or abandonment because of the epidemic, so that no insurer wanted to cover this risk ? A fund with two floors, combining public funding and private funding, endowed by the State of 50 million euros, was therefore devised under the leadership of Dominique Boutonnat, president of the Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée (CNC), former producer past asset shock, by the AXA group, so having a deep knowledge of the insurance sector. And now ? Very rare in his speech, he has agreed to answer our questions.
The Point : The cinema re-opened on 22nd June : how is this going to happen ?
Dominique Boutonnat : The reopening of the halls is going to do a great good to the public as well as professionals. But after months of closure, the release of films shifted, it was necessary to provide support to distributors, producers and theatres themselves to help out the movies. Because releasing a film means costs. The minister of Culture comes to announce measures to allow a restart of the cinemas. Then, after the summer, we will conduct a strong operation to attract new, sustainable people in the room. This will be done with the operators, of course, but also with the television channels, artists,...
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Yes. One does not preclude the other, it is even the opposite ! Both practices combine reality and, last year, we experienced a record attendance in the room. The French love films and series. But it is true that the containment has accelerated changes in the way of financing films, and in the uses of the public with the rise of platforms foreign as Netflix, Amazon or Disney+. In the French model, all broadcasters should participate in the financing of the creation. Only the tv channels have to date of the bonds financing the cinema and audiovisual creation in france and europe. Yet, they have experienced a very sharp decline in their advertising revenue with the health crisis, where the platforms were full of subscribers. The urgency now is to integrate the platforms quickly to our ecosystem to restore this inequity of treatment between broadcasters, and to provide new financing, at a time when the sector needs it the most.
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productions include : the ACSB has put in place a support fund to help this recovery. What is it ?
The shootings have picked up since the 11 may. But the sine qua non of this recovery was that they would be insured against the risk of interruption or abandonment because of the epidemic. No insurer wanted to cover this risk. We have therefore created a fund to two floors combining public funding and private funding (pool of mutual insurance companies). This is the meaning of the announcement by the president of the Republic on 6 may. It is very likely the first area in France where the insurers come back to cover the Covid. This is a proof that the public funding is there to substitute for the market when it does not work or more, and to serve as a leverage to get other type of financing. But let's be honest, the sector will overall suffer, the coming months will be difficult. The CNC will be with the sector, faithful to its mission set after the war in 1946, both cultural and economic. That is the whole purpose of the stimulus plan that we have built to best support the cinema and audiovisual and restart the machine. The challenge for our countries is vital, both culturally and economically.Updated Date: 12 June 2020, 05:34