French filmmakers sound the alarm on the future of France’s media timeline

– A hundred renowned French filmmakers warn of a new media chronology too favorable to streaming platforms

Directors Jacques Audiard, Arnaud Desplechin and Claire Denis, who are among the signatories of the open letter

Jacques Audiard, Arnaud Desplechin, Claire Denis, Olivier Assayas, Michel Hazanavicius, Laurent Cantet, Stephane Brize, Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, Robert Guédiguian, Emmanuel Mouret, Michel Ocelot, Agnes Jaoui, Pierre Salvadori, Cedric Klapisch, Catherine corsini, Philippe falcon, Rachid Bouchareb, Emmanuel finkiel, Claire Simon, Philippe Lioret, Philippe Le Guay, Martin Provost, Nicolas Philibert, Bruno Podalydes, etc. In an open letter published today in the daily Le Monde, a very large number of the most prestigious French filmmakers join the debate, as well as the deadline of March 31 for the interprofessional negotiation on the reform of the chronology. media is emerging. If no agreement is reached, then it is the government which will decide on this reform, which concerns the timing and the rhythm of the windows of projection of films on various types of supports, after their release in theaters. This change follows the adoption of the European decree (read our interview with Olivier Henrard, deputy general manager of the CNC), which obliges powerful SvoD platforms to support French creation. And indeed, young French cinema is well represented in this open letter, with signatories including Rebecca Zlotowski, Justine triet, Jeremy Clapin, Sebastien Lifshitz, Houda Benyamina, Thierry de Peretti, Stephane Demoustier, Bertrand mandico, Louis-Julien Petit, Katell Quillévéré, Axelle ropert and Carine Tardieu.

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Some selected extracts:

“We are worried about the future of cinema. On March 31, the government risks ratifying a decree that would be particularly favorable to streaming platforms by offering them an advantageous place in the chronology of French media, in return for ridiculously modest investments in our cinema. For example, it is estimated that Netflix, the largest of them with 8 million subscribers, would invest around 18 M € in the pre-purchase of French films… To be compared with the 104 M € paid by Canal + in 2019 and which, thanks to binding agreements with the industry, guaranteeing a hundred films per year and a real variety. If the government were to forcibly pass this decree, ignoring these necessary inter-professional agreements, the immediate consequence would be to weaken long-established partners, and this would push some to align themselves with the models of these new players in the industry. . What would happen if, following a simple logic and in order to protect itself from this competition, Canal + itself became a platform subject to much lesser obligations vis-à-vis the cinema?

“There is nothing dated in the chronology of the media: this is precisely what, thanks to a sophisticated mechanism, obliges cinema presenters to finance cinematographic creation.

“We are not resisting because we want to preserve the privileges that come with our small territory – we are fighting so that fertile ground for creation can survive across the land.”

“We are open to hosting streaming platforms, but it will be up to them to adapt to the country’s media timeline, not the other way around.”

“Today, our films only exist thanks to a precious and subtle ecosystem for the financing of our works, which brings together independent distributors, established audiovisual broadcasters, national and regional organizations. It is this ecosystem that then allows us to thrill the largest expanse of cinemas in Europe.

“Platforms are welcome to join us and strengthen this ecosystem, but we will not sign an agreement that threatens to destroy it.”

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(Translated from French)

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