Capton, Missonnier, Frémaux … French cinema remains optimistic despite the health crisis

Interviewed by the magazine Variety, ten personalities of the seventh art highlight the significant developments in the sector. The pandemic and the confinements are promoting the rise of streaming platforms. A bad for a good ?

Hit hard by the health crisis, French cinema remains hopeful. Variety interviewed ten personalities from the world of the sector on the evolution of the seventh art in 2021. For the director of the Cannes Film Festival, Thierry Frémaux, who has just warned of the dangers incurred by theaters, 125 years after their creation, the situation imposes “Rethinking the ecosystem of the film industry”.

The pandemic has accelerated “A transition that has already started in our industry and which would have taken a few years to develop” without the Covid-19, estimates Caroline Benjo, co-founder of the production company Haut et Court. “But many will not survive the process“, She warns. A natural selection which, she deplores, will sweep away the weakest for the benefit of platforms and big production companies.

“France has always been a pioneer in balancing regulation and business. Now it has the opportunity to apply this balance with global platforms ”

Marc Missonnier, founder of the production company Moana Films

In addition to the famous French “cultural exception”, the funding model for cinema and its distribution is evolving in the long term. “2021 should be a year of major changes with the establishment [depuis le 1er janvier en France, NDLR] of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive , and this before many other European countries», Observes Pierre-Antoine Capton, boss of Mediawan, producer of fictions (films or series) but also of TV shows like C to you on France 5. The principle? That streaming platforms have the same funding obligations as traditional broadcasters. “There will thus be more opportunities for French production and distribution companies capable of providing quality contentHe continues.

France has always been a pioneer in balancing regulation and business. Now she has the opportunity to apply this balance with global platforms“Enthuses producer Marc Missonnier (Moana Films) who, conversely, is worried about excessive regulation which could turn out to be liberticidal. Because the rise of streaming also highlights the tensions between French producers and broadcasters and their American counterparts.

Make It Happen Studio co-founder Sydney Gallonde behind the series One chance too many for Netflix, explains: “Previously, it was easy for producers in France to access artists and intellectual property. But now, for those who wish to secure the local talent pursued by American streamers and studios, it becomes an epic fight in the vein of David and Goliath. ”

What about the film in theaters?

The path taken by the film industry tends to sacrifice theatrical distribution, at least concerning American films whose producers favor contracts with Netflix and other streaming platforms. Jocelyn Bouyssy, director of CGR cinemas, nevertheless wants to be optimistic: “Before the second lockdown, the success of theaters underscored the importance of showing films for all ages. The French are avid cinephiles. […] In these dark times, our local films had the opportunity to shine and helped France to become the European country which suffered the least from the drop in admissions.


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