Pols intend to divert $189 million into state coffers

PARIS — President Francois Hollande’s government is facing its first opposition from the local film and TV industry over its plan to divert €150 million ($189 million) from national film and TV board funds to state coffers.

Plan is part of proposals that will be reviewed by the Parliament and Senate’s finance committee this fall during the annual budget plan.

Last year, under then-president Nicolas Sarkozy, the Senate caused uproar when it passed a law to cap the Centre National de la Cinematographie’s (CNC) revenues from taxes on film tickets, TV channels, VOD, mobile devices, Internet, DVDs and other film-related products, which fund the biz.

Faced with widespread protests and intense lobbying, a bipartisan commission of politicians restricted the cap to taxes on TV services. TV revenues hit $288.5 million in 2012, of which the state skimmed off $88.2 million.

The government intends to removed the cap — which, in principle, is approved by industryites, including CNC prexy Eric Garandeau.

“The removal of cap is crucial to restore the autonomy of our support fund system and allow for it to evolve symbiotically with the growth of the TV sector,” Garandeau told Variety.

But they are strongly contesting the amount of the levy that replaces the cap. At $189 million, it’s $100 million more than the cap garnered.

“The levy would weaken the film and TV sector and threaten various projects undertaken by the CNC, notably the digitization of 1,500 theater screens and initiatives to fight piracy,” said Pascal Rogard, managing director of the Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers (SACD).

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