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Policy to support cinema
The Minister of Culture and Communication made a statement on the policy to support cinema.
Going to the cinema is French people's main leisure activity. In 2015, cinemas recorded 205 million visits; two-thirds of French people and 87% of under-25s went at least once during the year. French films' market share (35%) is markedly higher than that of national films in Germany (27.5%), Italy (21%), Spain (19%) and the United Kingdom (11%). France is a land not only of creativity but also of discovering and developing European and world cinema. In 2015, the number of international co-productions involving France was 142 - the highest level for 10 years. These co-productions account for more than 45% of the films screened in France. Cinema is also a cultural industry, accounting for 340,000 jobs and 1% of gross domestic product.
In order to support cinema, diversity and creativity:
- In 2012 the government reduced VAT on cinema ticket prices to 5.5%. The industry passed on this VAT reduction to the cost of tickets for under-14s. Twenty million visits were therefore paid at a cost of euro4 or euro4.50 in 2015, representing a 20% rise compared to 2014.
- The government has taken measures to restore the competitiveness and attractiveness of filming in France. In 2013, it increased the tax credit from 20% to 30% for films with budgets under euro4 million. In 2014, it decided to extend this measure, from 2016 onwards, to all films under euro7 million and animated films. In 2015, the government decided to extend the tax credits increase to all French-language films, all animated films and all those with a large number of visual effects. It also opened up tax credit benefits to films shot in foreign languages because of the plot, and increased to 30% the tax credit benefiting animated films and those with many visual effects, whatever language they are shot in. Finally, the ceiling was raised from euro4 million to euro30 million.
At the end of the first quarter of 2016, the results are already conclusive. Some 30 French and European filming projects have returned to France, generating more than euro100 million of economic activity and thousands of jobs. According to estimates from the Centre national du cinĂ©ma et de l'image animĂ©e (CNC) [French government agency for producing and promoting cinema and audiovisual arts], these measures could be translated into euro200 million and 10,000 jobs in 2016.
- On 13 May 2016, an agreement was signed under the aegis of the authorities. Cinema operators pledged to support access for independent films to medium-sized and large cinemas. As for distributors, they pledged to support access for promising independent films to cinemas in rural areas and in towns with fewer than 50,000 inhabitants. Maintaining the attractiveness of a cinema network unique in the world is a political priority. In line with the agreement, a reform of art-house cinemas aimed at better supporting these cinemas - which are essential to the regions' cultural life - and simplifying their administrative procedures will be implemented.
Finally, in the area of European and international negotiations, in 2013 France secured the exclusion of cinema and the audiovisual sector from the negotiation mandate for the draft free trade agreement with the United States. True to its values, France refused to reduce culture to a mere commodity, whatever its economic weight.
The government is continuing to fight this battle, upholding copyright and combating piracy. It is also actively persuading its European partners that community law must better take into account the role of digital sector players in the distribution and financing of creativity./.