UNIC President Phil Clapp, Senior Vice-President Jaime Tarrazon and CEO Laura Houlgatte took part in Wednesday morning's roundtable on “The impact of the global health crisis on French cinemas”. Participants included:
David Binet (NATO)
Daniela Elstner (Unifrance)
Didier Allouch (Journalist)
Victor Hadida (FNEF, Metropolitan Filmexport)
Olivier Snanoudj (Warner Bros. Entertainment France)
The debate focused on the re-opening of cinemas, the situation in the US and its impact on the rest of the world (especially from a content perspective) and how support measures should benefit the whole audio-visual (AV) industry. The lack of content was pointed out as the main challenge, with the risk of cinemas having to wait for too long before getting a diverse enough slate to attract audiences from all demographics. A recording of the session is available here.
The “débat avec les pouvoirs publics" featured French Minister for Culture, Roselyne Bachelot, who announced additional support measures to help cinemas survive the crisis. They included: financial support to compensate losses between September and December 2020, increased support from the CNC based on automatic support schemes and support to cinema literacy programmes. Richard Patry, President of the FNCF, mentioned that cinemas were on the frontline and were losing money every day by staying open, without having enough content to sustain them. He also talked about the French “Tous au cinéma” campaign and how the whole AV sector depended on cinemas, while other challenges, such as the transposition of the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) and the fight against piracy, were also touched upon.
French MP Aurore Bergé emphasised how much she missed cinemas and that she hoped that specific support schemes would help them. She added that films had to be released first, and exclusively, on the Big Screen. She also mentioned the transposition of the AVMSD and the EU Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive, recalling the importance of all actors contributing to creation and creating a level playing field, and also talked about the need to fight piracy. Nicolas Seydoux, President of ALPA, gave an update on piracy in France as a closing speech, making reference to the need to address the issue of pirates and to tackle piracy head on to support the film and cinema sector.
Huge thanks to French colleagues for a great couple of days in Deauville!
Full programme available here.