Gaul set to up coin for short films

Minister also hopes other entities pitch in

French Minister of Culture Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres announced Saturday plans to help hike coin for short films.

Addressing attendees at the 27th Clermont-Ferrand film festival — the world’s largest event of its type, sometimes called “the Cannes of short films” — Donnedieu de Vabres cited Arnaud Desplechin, Francois Ozon, Julie Bertucelli, Orso Miret and Jean-Pierre Jeunet as Gallic helmers who got their starts making shorts.

“We must increase the funds available from the CNC for short films and up the amount granted to each film without reducing the total number of movies we support,” he said. But he’s also counting on other entities to pitch in.

France’s National Center for Cinema (CNC) helps fund almost half of the more than 400 shorts made each year in Gaul. Intent that actors and technicians working on short films be paid a fair wage, the minister has appointed a special committee to investigate the link between government funding and working conditions. Citing the need for “emergency measures,” he hopes an equitable plan will be in place before this summer.

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Having just signed a regional production treaty with Auvergne — the jurisdiction in which Clermont-Ferrand is nestled — the minister encouraged regional councils to do their share for local filmmaking. “In 2004, e3.1 million ($4.1 million) went directly to short film production — nearly 28% of the national total invested in shorts.”

The minister also wants more short films on TV, including France 4, the forthcoming digital terrestrial channel.