PARIS– The French Senate has voted to cap the revenue of the CNC, Gaul’s national film board, to help offset the country’s budget deficit.
In spite of opposition from the government and parliament, French senators passed a measure to cap revs from taxes on Internet Service Providers and broadcasters/VOD services exceeding 201 million Euros ($250.6 million) and $341 million, respectively.
The CNC plays a key role in the funding of French movies via revenue generated rom a levy on theater tickets and DVDs, as well as on Internet Service Providers, VOD services and broadcasters.
It’s not the first time French lawmakers have sought to divert CNC coin to state coffers.
In 2011, the government nabbed $26.6 million, and in 2012 it skimmed off $88.2 million. While the CNC is still well endowed compared to other similar European institutions, Guillaume Prieur, spokesman of the SACD (Society of Authors, Composers and Directors), argues that these cuts have handicapped various initiatives planned by the org, notably the digitization of 1,500 theater screens.
The prospect of having CNC’s revenue capped or levied once again is worrying local industry players, who are already concerned over the 23% drop in film financing and the 17% fall in film shoots in France since the beginning of the year — figures that were revealed in a recent CNC report.
The budget of the national film board has already been diminished due to the decrease in theatrical admissions and fall of TV’s advertising revenues, pointed out Prieur. Next year, the institution is expected to have a budget of approximately $785 million.
The Senate measure could still be overturned by a bipartisan commission made up of politicians from both chambers.