Mr President, dear Jean LabéMesdames and gentlemen,
Last year, I regrettably missed the opportunity you gave me
to meet you then to honor with you, for it was your choice and he
was excellent, the wonderful Agnes Varda to whom you had offered your
gala evening, and also a small digital camera, with which, did you
Said she had a lot of fun.
In fact the life of a minister is thus constructed that some days are
more likely than others to travel; and quite frankly, the
Wednesday is not the easiest day: the morning is invariably busy
by the Council of Ministers and in the afternoon by oral questions to
the National Assembly, which makes the escape to Deauville inconvenient.
But I have nevertheless decided to overcome this inconvenience for you
meet and dialogue with you. However I will unfortunately have to
leave you before your tribute tonight to my friend Régis
I feel that since my arrival at the Ministry of Culture and
Communication I have not ceased to have a watchful look on your activity.
Perhaps because, better than anyone, I know how much exercise
this beautiful profession is difficult. Maybe also because I have a
particular sensitivity to the problems you face.
The cinema is not immune to changes in society. It
is even sometimes the seismograph and that is why I am - as
that minister of culture and communication - particularly attentive
its evolution, and what happens there.
I am for many reasons, far beyond attachment
Personal, even sentimental, that I have for your profession.
I was pleased the other day in the Senate to recall - at the conclusion of the debate
on the proposed law on digital cinema- the
nostalgia for a time when the operator I was, projectionist by
needed, faced with the vagaries of the film that stalls, spins and
begins to deviate into the cabin then the stairs, and finally reaches the
like a giant, evil snake... a Buster Keaton scene! The
digital will erase this anxiety but will probably know how to create
We have a major asset in France in terms of cultural equipment:
our cinema park. It is the first in Europe and the fourth
to the world. I would like you to know that my primary concern is
to preserve and even beautify this park. Because I am convinced that it is his
the vitality of our cinema and the development of the
cinemaphilia. But also because, the proof is made, it is a
a remarkable instrument of cultural democratization.
In the last decade, cinema in theatres has seen
its audience expand until it now seduces nearly two-thirds
of the French, who go there at least once a year.
that I would like to see happen with other cultural practices!
This success is due to a simple formula, I believe, a formula that has
proven to be absolutely effective over the years. It’s the one that
to all of you, the “film makers” and a
strong commitment of the State and local authorities, in support without
your activity, and in the recognition of the role played by the room
as a place of access to culture.
That’s why I want to pay tribute to you and the distributors,
in spite of the fierce competition of new forms of access to
Television, DVD and Video-on-Demand (VOD) films
developed in recent years, you have known
keep intact the desire of the cinematographic show for all
French, whatever their age.
Congratulations on having supported the career of the French films awarded at Cannes this
year, which have met with great success with the public in their
diversity! I think of films as different as «Tour»
Mathieu Amalric and «Des hommes et des dieux» by Xavier Beauvois.
Thanks to your work, the cinema is also a place of brewing
social and collective emotion, living together, so precious to a
at a time when the practice of individual screens is increasing, particularly in
This is why the cinema is an issue of cultural policy, which
legitimacy is recognized by all, as demonstrated by the exceptional
quality of the debates on the text of the law adopted unanimously
least a few abstentions just a week ago in the Senate.
I see no other way to convince you of my attachment and
of my gratitude for the work you are pursuing, often
seven days a week, to offer cinema’s happiness to audiences, that
to tell you how important cinema is to me.
I am fully aware of the difficulties that some of you
and the confusion that was expressed last year, right here in front of
Véronique Cayla who bravely confronted your testimonies of
discontent, which were also a call for help.
We were then in an objectively difficult context for many
the timeline of the media had just been upset without us being able to
anticipate its effects;
even before the dizzying success of «Avatar», several 3D films
3D had met with public support and revealed the need for
the reform of the current business tax was also a reason
and finally, the increase in attendance was unevenly distributed among
schools, some even seeing their audience shrink.
I promised you then, in my message to you,
that I will make the digital transition of all rooms a priority, and
that I will meet everyone’s needs.
Today, although we still have a long way to go, I believe
have kept my promises:
the business tax was reformed and on the occasion of this reform, I
proposed an extension of the cinema exemption scheme,
which was adopted by Parliament.
Exceptional aid has been mobilised in various forms by the
TNC, including operating aids – but also a
strengthening the IFCIC guarantee, for a total of around €9 million, in order to
to help those who had a difficult financial year-end.
In the second round of reforms of the law on commercial planning
which has been considerably streamlined in its procedures, upon request
Parliament, I have obtained that the device of prior authorization of
theatrical installations be maintained in their current state. It is a tool that
allows to balance the competition between proximity and multiplexes.
I am personally very attached to it.
Finally, despite some ups and downs along the way, due to the doctrine of
the Autorité de la concurrence, the project I formed before you the year
to empower all rooms to go digital
is now a reality. The combination of the law voted the week
the Senate and the new device to help digitize the
National Centre for Cinema and Animated Images, established by decree
September 1, allows us to consider the transition to digital
as a large-scale modernization of the hall park in its
This movement will be supported and supported financially by
public authorities, state and local authorities.
As you know, the two instruments of this modernization are:
the first is the law on the digital equipment of rooms, which establishes
the principle of distributors' contribution to the cost of equipment and
provides a new framework for programming and relations
distributor/operators adapted to the new digital deal, It
on the following equation: the distributor being the beneficiary of this
Modernization that reduces the cost of copies, it is fair that it contributes
the operator’s equipment, for a limited period of time
The second instrument is the aid scheme which has just been set up
by the CNC. Its objective is to ensure that all rooms, whatever
the level of contributions they will receive from distributors, or
can be equipped.
Because the cost of this equipment (around €80,000) is not within the reach of
all cinemas, especially those whose programming, made of
“continuations”, is unable to gather a contribution
distributors. These are mainly small
cities and rural areas, but also itinerant circuits without which
cinema would remain inaccessible to many of our fellow citizens, and
play a fundamental role in the dissemination of culture in these territories.
It is for these halls, numbering about a thousand, that a support
CNC is now being implemented as a
new digitization aid, which will cover up to 90%
of their investments.
Applications can already be submitted online at the CNC
for all operators eligible for this aid. The review of the first
requests, by a commission will take place in mid-October. For the
“Not very active” (about 300) and itinerant circuits, with
130, a specific mechanism will be set up very soon.
France, which already has 1,500 equipped rooms, is
the first country in the world to plan and organize the transition of
its room park towards digital.
An unprecedented financial effort will be made by the public authorities
in this plan to modernize our park, and it is estimated that more than 125
M€ over three years the volume of aid that will be mobilized by the CNC and
local authorities in favour of equipping the halls and
Digital support will, of course, be added to the maintenance of support devices
existing farms: automatic and selective aids to
Investment and operations exceeding €80m
Let us be clear: all this is not the expression of an economy
management. Rather, it is the expression of a political will that
recognizes the role of cinema in the culture of our country, as it
has been forged throughout history.
It is also the mark of an ambition: to prepare the future of
and yours, that of your theatres. As I said in front of the
last Thursday, this is a way of answering with irony, to more
a century apart from the formula that Antoine Lumière once launched in
Georges Méliès: Young man, the cinematographer would ruin you because
he has no future!" Méliès was ruined, indeed, but the cinema
prospered, while remaining a fragile, high-risk business….
the profound meaning of Antoine Lumière’s prophecy.
In setting up this system, we have all been
rapid and responsive: government, parliament, professionals…and
the dialogue has been remarkably fruitful in
I would like to thank all those who contributed to the
construction of this plan, with the support of the CNC and its president
Véronique Cayla, who acted with all the speed required.
In addition, the legal framework for programming, which had been
in place by Jack Lang in 1982, is completely renovated by this law. The
the status of rents charged for rooms is also clarified and regulated, in order to
to avoid soaring prices. And in favour of the complete overhaul of the law
I would like to remind the House that, in the past year, the
the set of operating rules has been updated,
light, modernized, according to your wishes, to take into account
your new business practices, and to lighten your
All these measures enable us to look at the future of the
cinema in theatres with more serenity. Especially since the interest of
audience for the film show remains very strong. That is, well
of course, a fundamental fact.
We reached a record figure in 2009 with over 200 million
and returned to the golden years that preceded the creation of
Canal+, and the explosion of television offerings.
The trend over the first eight of the year looks very promising
almost 7% higher than in 2009. But I note
especially - and this is very important - that the entries of the small and the average
operations are again increasing.
I have read with interest the White Paper (Red Cover, White Paper
the colour of the chairs), which the Federation has just made public.
I have noted the seriousness of its conception, and it is rare that a profession
debate around it and its difficulties with an instrument of
reflection that goes beyond the faults and tone of the controversy, so I
I understand the two types of concerns you have. They
have two points:
on the one hand the expression of uncertainty about the future, in the pursuit of
the phase of investments you will make for digital
(and for making your rooms accessible to
On the other hand, the economic difficulties resulting from the
taxes on your companies, even though you have
remarkably contained the increase in the price of the movie ticket.
The measures I have just mentioned, it seems to me, respond in large
party to both concerns.
But of course I will continue to listen to you to improve
the situation of the rooms that might meet, in
despite the measures we are taking, economic difficulties
On the question of taxation, you have seen in the news
recent, that I am always ready to defend with pugnacity the regime
The European Parliament’s Committee on Social Affairs, Employment and the Working Environment, and the Committee on Employment, Social Affairs and the Working Party on Employment, Social Affairs and the Working Environment.
Not by clientelism! But simply because
the general interest and our cultural ambition!
On the question of investments, the measures implemented by the
legislation, including the parliamentary monitoring committee, give you the assurance
legislation may evolve over time in response to the new
economic benefits of digital technology. The law has the intelligence to set
general principles, and refers specific issues to
institutions such as the CNC and the Cinema Ombudsman, an authority
independent respected by all, whose
powers if necessary. Finally, the law creates an ad hoc institution: a committee
The Commission will be able to put forward recommendations for
This legislation allows for real flexibility in the application of the principles
it sets out, and provides for their adaptation to specific cases or situations
will be driven by digital technology, which is constantly evolving and
Ladies and gentlemen, throughout its history, cinema has known
large-scale technological breakthroughs that have resulted in
style, form and means of expression. These
turning points have also caused sometimes complex upheavals
in its functioning, its organization, as in the lives of
who create it.
It was the transition from mute to speaking, beautifully evoked by Billy
Wilder in the unforgettable «Boulevard du crépuscule», or that of the
black and white to color.
It was also the unprecedented breath that triggered the new
in the aesthetics of cinema and its mode of production.
Let us pay tribute to Claude Chabrol and Eric Rohmer, who were all
two, in a beautiful complicity, at the origin of this movement that
deeply renewed the cinematic narrative, gave it a
new youth, and an extraordinary freedom of tone.
By digitizing movie theatres, a complete revolution will
finally to be fulfilled since the directors have already long since
appropriate this technology, successfully. Rohmer himself had, among
made use of the digital tool for its pretty fresco on the
French Revolution, “The English and the Duke”,
We can be proud that France immediately met the challenge of
this digital revolution and our film technicians, our industries
are already at the cutting edge of image processing. The
know-how is international. The new tax credit is
place less than a year ago, intended to promote the shooting of films
in our territory, has already allowed the complete manufacture in
France by French teams, an animated feature film
This summer, the United States has climbed to the top of the box office across the Atlantic.
As you know, I have made the digital revolution one of the priorities of
my work at the Ministry of Culture and Communication.
In this respect, it is important that the President of the Republic
the opportunity to re-emphasize his attention to
financing of cinema, and in particular this unique device in the world
the film industry support account administered by the CNC,
that will support this digital shift.
We are actively working to consolidate it, and also to reaffirm the role
of Canal+ vis-à-vis French cinema, in all its
components. I say this knowing that you are particularly
Because it is essential today to adapt the tools of our policy
from cinema to the new context created by the digital revolution.
All measures concerning you are fully consistent
with my projects concerning the digitization of French cinema.
This includes the digitization of French film heritage, in order to
cinematic masterpieces accessible on new networks and
in digitized rooms, on all media of the future: projection
digital, DVD High definition, VOD, etc. For this purpose it is provided,
as I confirmed this morning, to use the
“Investments for the Future”, in support of private sector
catalogue holders. This digitization will already concern 3,000
feature film titles.
I will also be very vigilant about the evolution of our industries
in their transition to digital. These industries have
experienced a difficult year with the contraction of production budgets
in 2009, even though they are in the investment phase to
the cutting edge of technology in a context of international competition
This is why we made a diagnosis with Christine LAGARDE
of this industrial fabric, in order to better identify needs and
necessary developments of companies in this phase of transition
Finally, French cinema must be more resolutely exploring the
new horizons opened by cinema in relief (3D). New
Aid has been recently introduced by the CNC to enable
French filmmakers to engage resolutely in this technology.
All these measures aim to chart the future of cinema in our
countries, and to do so by recognizing the fundamental role of the
cinema, without which, whatever one thinks of the new media of
There would be no cinema.
Let us not forget that it is only when a film is shown in theatres that it
becomes a movie.
Let us not forget that if cinema participates fully in shaping our
culture, it is because it has the virtue to bring us together, because it is a
Let’s not forget that the individual screen will never replace the power
poetic and aesthetic image projected on the big screen, emotion
and the thrill it causes.
I know you all share these beliefs, they are what you
animate with passion. I understand you, I approve you, and I
Thank you for your attention.