The Congress serves as a unique opportunity for French cinema operators to network and learn about the most recent trends and developments in the industry. Most importantly, it also provides a chance for policy makers and national bodies - namely the Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée (CNC) and Ministry of Culture - to share their strategies for the upcoming year and meet with representatives from different branches of the exhibition community, to discuss topics as wide ranging as the financing of new technology to the impact of film production on programming.
This year, UNIC CEO Laura Houlgatte took part in a round-table debate on film piracy in France, which brought together experts representing the French Government, anti-piracy bodies, distributors, authors, broadcasters and online platforms. UNIC presented a series of key figures on piracy across Europe and highlighted key policies and campaigns - at both national and European level - aimed at fighting, enforcing or informing about piracy and its impact on the audiovisual sector. Panelists highlighted the need for continued and increased cooperation between all stakeholders in the value-chain, as well as renewed investment from local authorities in the fight against piracy.
One of the crucial discussions of the week was arguably the debate between cinema operators and the CNC, the official body in charge of French film policy, including the management of the national film fund - to which cinema operators contribute through a tax on cinema tickets - and its redistribution in the sector. Among the many topics that were highlighted during this session, the CNC identified the relationship with VOD providers, the financing of cinema technology, the review of the so-call 'art-house reform', programming rules, digital marketing and the reduction of films produced in France as key areas of investment for the future. You can find a detailed summary of the debates here.
UNIC also used the event as an opportunity to publish a French version of its 'European Cinema Facts and Figures' leaflet, soon to be available on the Publications page of the UNIC website.