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Speaking at an industry round-table at the Paris-based Production Forum on Thursday, Dominique Boutonnat, president of France’s National Film Board (CNC), announced a new plan to update local production studios in order to make them more internationally competitive.

The modest plan, which involves new funding, training sessions and additional research, follows a March 2019 report, submitted to the CNC and Film France, that was unsparing in its assessments. “Many film and audiovisual directors and technicians are worried about the situation of French studios,” it began.

“The evolution of filmmaking technology, the widespread use of special effects, the spectacular rise in series production and the transformation of economic models driven by streaming platforms makes us wonder about the future of the French production model, and its industrial capacity to meet the expectations of French and foreign audiences.”

On Thursday, the CNC responded, outlining their four-point plan at the industry conference.

“We must react and offer new incentives by launching a ‘studio plan’ with an endowment of €1 million to encourage ambitious projects to modernize film studios,” said Boutonnat in his statement. “The 21st century film-set must be digital and sustainable, and the CNC will support this change.”

Beyond the million euros in direct funding, the CNC will offer projects assistance through state and regional supports, and will work with state-funded film school La Fémis to integrate digital proficiency – specifically with regards to visual effects programs – into the national curriculum.

It will also work alongside the Superior Technical Image Commission (CST) and sustainability collective Ecoprod to develop and implement new, ecologically responsible initiatives.

In partnership with Film France, the CNC will lead a trade mission to Los Angeles in March in order to promote local studios and initiatives to the streamers and studios, and announced long-term plans to open a permanent American office to keep better connected with the international industry, and to keep those industry players better connected with France.