PARIS — France’s Centre National de la Cinematographie will increase its funding for the audiovisual industry to $22.5 million in the coming year.

Topper Marc Tessier made the announcement Thursday, calling it “a major happening.” It marks the first time in several years the organization has not been squeezed by government belt-tightening.

Funding for the CNC comes from two very distinct sources. The first, the Culture Ministry, has upped its participation this year by 1% after two years of decreases. The change comes in the wake of Culture Minister Catherine Trautman’s announcement at last month’s Mipcom television market that there would be an overall increase in funds given to the audio-visual sector in 1998.

The second half of the CNC’s budget is derived from the Compte de Soutien, a revolving fund using tax money from advertising and a portion of box office receipts that is redistributed throughout the visual arts.

Because Gallic movie theaters have been selling more and more ducats in the past two years, the Compte de Soutien has seen its purses swell, which in turn has enabled the CNC to put the money back into production, distribution, exhibition, video, multimedia and more.

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