In France, the word for tax breaks and subsidies is co-production. A French partner is necessary to tap Gallic coffers, although one regional film commission, Ile-de-France, has opened its funding to foreigners.
Due to strict criteria, however, many U.S. films won’t qualify to tap the E14 million ($17 million) Ile-de-France has to hand out in 2006. Criteria include a minimum of five weeks’ shooting in the region, as well as a large percentage of post-production work done at local facilities.
Only a handful of non-French films have been awarded funding from the Ile-de-France commission since its inception. Among them are James Ivory’s “Le Divorce,” which got E300,000 in 2002, and Norman Jewison’s French co-prod “The Statement” (E200,000 in 2003).
The Centre National du Cinema, the state funding org, hands out coin in the case of French and European co-productions only. While culture czar Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres last year announced a plan to open national Gallic production funds to non-European projects, the issue seems to be stuck in a quagmire, and the likelihood of it happening appears to be dimming.
- CNC Aid to Foreign-Language Films: Joelle Soumayrach, Phone: +33-1-4434-3808, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- CNC Fonds Sud: Jacqueline Ada, Phone: +33-1-4434-3817, Email: email@example.com
- Ile-de-France Film Commission Assistance Fund: Hugues Quattrone, Phone: +33-1-5385-5671, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the more exotic co-prods to win financing from Gaul’s Centre National du Cinema was “Bamako,” by Mauritanian helmer Abderrahmane Sissako. Awarded E120,000, the Malinese-French-American co-production got its coin from CNC’s Fonds Sud.
Pic, which tells the tale of an African tribunal against the Intl. Monetary Fund and the World Bank that unfolds in a residential courtyard, screened out of competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. “Bamako,” Sissako’s latest pic after his kudo-winning “Waiting for Happiness,” was produced by his own shingle with Mali Images, Franco-German outfit Arte and Danny Glover and Joslyn Barnes’ Louverture Films.