France ups aid for industry to $400 mil

France will increase its Centre National de Cinematographie’s budget for 1993 by 7.5%. Released last week, the 2.1 billion franc ($ 400 million) allocation represents the first time CNC’s cinema/audiovisual support exceeds 2 billion francs and includes several new ambitious budgetary items.

Earmarking 932.10 million francs ($ 186.5 million) for cinema and 738.80 million francs ($ 147.4 million) for audiovisual sector supports, CNC director Domonique Wallon suggested increases derive partly from an anticipated increase in this year’s cinema entries.

Current estimates predict 122 million entries this year, 5 million more than last.

Revenues created by an 11.3% value-added tax on each ticket sold, which is consigned directly to CNC coffers, are expected to total 457 million francs ($ 91.4 million).

Additionally, Wallon said, 1993’s budget envisions a 5.5% increase in revenues generated from broadcaster taxes as well as substantial boosts in financing from CNC’s parent body, the Ministry of Culture. Providing a 4 million franc increase to 38 million francs ($ 7.6 million) for direct assistance to film distribution support, CNC’s 1993 budget also suggests this process is currently under reevaluation “to enlarge the number of films benefiting from the program.”

The budget also expands support for theater renovation and modernization (under a combined funding/tax credit package) and provides $ 10 million for nitrate to safe-stock transfer. Cinematheque operating budgets for 1993 increase slightly to 32.7 million francs ($ 6.5 million).

Without announcing figures, Wallon said, the chief audiovisual sector change involves new funds to assist the mounting of theater, dance and music performances for television broadcast.

New line items include:

o Subsidizing major expansion of Cinema College to 45 departments.

o Creating two new funds in concert with the minister of foreign affairs. One supports filmmakers in Africa, the Orient and Latin America; the other funds television co-prods in Central Europe and the Orient.

o Aiding distributors exporting French films to Eastern Europe, Africa, and Central and Latin America.

o French participation in “Europa Cinemas,” an EC plan to develop theaters in member nations to show European films exclusively.

o Expanding financial aid to several French film festivals/national days, including the upcoming celebration of 100 Cinema Years, Cine Memoire and launching a “Since the New Wave” festival circuit along American university campuses in ’93.

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