the Court of Auditors recommends reviewing public aid

The Court of Auditors invites itself, via a report, into the debate on public support for French cinema. The highest financial court looked in particular at the management of the CNC, the National Cinematography Center, between 2011 and 2022.


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The financing of French cinema is based on a complex system of aid which makes it possible to support around sixty films per year.  (FREDERIC LECOCQ / PHOTOPQR/LE REPUBLICAIN LORRAIN/ MAXPPP)

The Court of Auditors regularly blacklists what it considers to be dysfunctions in the use of public money. This time, she tackles a passionate subject: the financing of the 7e Art. Which is reminiscent of the controversy launched a few months ago by the director ofAnatomy of a fall. Palme d’Or at the last Cannes Film Festival. Justine Triet attacked the public authorities, accused in her eyes of wanting to break the French cultural exception in the name of profitability.

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The report from the Court of Auditors on Wednesday, September 20, salutes the work carried out by the National Center for Cinema and Animated Images, in particular for its support of the sector during the Covid crisis and in the face of the surge of the Netflix platform with its films streamed on the internet. But he notes that the aid to French cinema is too numerous – around a hundred – and too complex. Some 700 million euros in annual resources for the sector. It would be good to initiate a thorough reform of all this aid.

Rationalize too many, too complex aids

The First President of the Court of Auditors, Pierre Moscovici, does not say that we must produce less, but that “too many films do not meet their audience”. Implied: the public is less and less there while aid to cinema continues to swell. A third of French films today attract fewer than 20,000 spectators compared to a quarter around ten years ago. Only 2% of productions supported by the advance on receipts are profitable in theaters.

According to the president of the CNC, Dominique Boutonnat, we must not only look at the success of films in theaters but at all the work that is done around them, including image education, support for festivals and aid to arts and cinemas. test in particular. Between the wise and the directors: ball in the center.

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