Mr President of the Executive Council of Corsica, Mr Paul Giacobbi, Mr President of the Assembly of Corsica, Mr Dominique Bucchini, Elected Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr President of France-Télévisions, Mr Rémy Pflimlin, Ms Director-General of the CNC, Dear Audrey Azoulay,
Corsica, cinema and audiovisual: from the silent films of the 1920s to the recent productions of Pierre Salvadori, Orso Miret and Frédéric Graziani, it is a long history, a long filiation. How could the island of Beauty not offer, with its breathtaking landscapes, with its incredible dives and counter-dives between peaks, deep forests and rocky cliffs, a look at the world, an eye projected on the universe, the eye of the filmmaker? Thanks to the teams of France Télévisions, it is also the images of the proximity and the Corsican «look» that are offered to the inhabitants of the island, and beyond, to the viewers of the continent and the Mediterranean.
I am therefore delighted to be here with you to sign both the 2011-2013 triennial convention between the State, the National Center for Cinema and Animated Image (CNC) and the Territorial Collectivity of Corsica, and on the other hand the amendment to the agreement of objectives and means of the channel VIASTELLA, between the State, France Télévisions and the Territorial Collectivity of Corsica
These two conventions are a first-rate event for affirm the role of Corsica in the renewal of the Mediterranean audiovisual and film landscape. The VIASTELLA document is unique in that it integrates the channel within the scope of the public service audiovisual service and thus opens the prospect of broadcasting on digital terrestrial television. For its part, the film and audiovisual development convention is the very first one I have the honour of signing this year. 25 others will follow, since all the metropolitan and overseas regions have accepted the continuation of the multi-year partnership proposed by the State in 2004, renewed a first time in 2007 and a second time in 2011.
Through this new generation of conventions, the Ministry of Culture and Communication, through its decentralized services, the Regional Directorates of Cultural Affairs (DRAC), and on the other hand, the public institution that oversees public policy in favour of cinema and audiovisual, namely the CNC, is strengthening its policy of supporting local authorities. Promoting creation, film and audiovisual production, cultural dissemination, but also image education, not to mention support for cinemas: this is their ambition.
In the past, our film and audiovisual industry suffered from hyper-concentration in the Paris region. In recent years, it has rediscovered the charm of the regions, the diversity of their landscapes and the quality of their infrastructure. In my opinion, it is essential that creators, technicians and actors be able to work, if they so desire, in their region of origin, without being forced to go into exile in Paris. In this area, I know, much remains to be done, but we are on the right track.
Our landscapes, our architectural heritage, our «places of memory» are riches that the cinema can appropriate, even embellish or re-experience. And the elected representatives understood that this partnership with the cinema was a great development tool. I am determined to contribute with you all, with elected officials, with professionals, to relocate a large number of shootings on our territory. It is a proactive policy in terms of cultural planning of the territory, it is also a strategic and economic choice for the sector.
The financial amounts entered in these agreements reflect this ambition. They have continued to increase: in 6 years (2004 to 2010), the State’s commitments have increased from 10.1 million euros to 24.3 million euros. Over the same period, local authority commitments increased from €35.5 million to €61.3 million. For the period, all partners combined, it is a virtual doubling of the Creation and Production Assistance Fund.
Through these conventions, it is a question of affirming our attachment to the vitality and diversity of the 7th art throughout the territory. French cinema is a common heritage, its production and distribution must be shared.
Corsica’s dynamism is particularly evident in the creative documentary sector, which is the region’s strong point. As such, the VIASTELLA plays an essential role in the dynamism of the Corsican audiovisual sector. By co-producing or purchasing a very large number of documentaries, it contributes to the vitality of a particularly active network of local producers. Its editorial line is part of a Mediterranean dimension that allows us not to limit ourselves to island subjects but to open horizons to a broader and shared heritage.
In this, the success of France Télévisions, and therefore its teams of France 3 Corse, of the VIASTELLA channel is exemplary. While it was initially an experiment, initiated by France 3 Corse, the idea was able to gradually federate all the partners gathered here, who must be thanked. Since its launch in October 2007, the channel has gradually been able to offer all types of programs; to meet its audience – since more than three-quarters of viewers say they watch it regularly – and to institute meetings that are appreciated and rich in debate, with the issue of ' My Corsica follows me everywhere» or the weekly magazine Mediterraneo.
Today, we therefore renew the commitment of the State, France Télévisions and the Territorial Collectivity of Corsica in VIASTELLA. The signing of the Convention of Objectives and Means (COM) of the channel Via Stella for the period 2011-2013 is an important step to strengthen its Mediterranean influence and cultural strategy. The fruitful cooperation between Via Stella and France Télévisions, which is reflected in the economic field, in the digital field, in the development of quality cultural content, will be continued and strengthened.
We will include Via Stella as a public service mission, in the specifications of France Télévisions. As a result, I can tell you that in the near future Via Stella will benefit from a frequency on digital terrestrial television (DTT), and can therefore be received by all Corsican households.
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Since its creation in 1959, since its origins, the Ministry that I have the honour to serve has had the heart to bear two demands: decentralization and cultural democratization. These two priorities are my own and I want to adapt them to the demands of the 21st century society as we know it, a “screen society”, a society where identities live in networks, where local cultures interact with a global world.
Yes, this is my view of cultural decentralization, where the State fully assumes its responsibilities, and where all the partners - the State, local authorities, professionals - act with the same aim: to preserve and develop cultural diversity, foster new artistic dynamics. This is my vision of a renewed collaboration between Corsica and the ministry for which I am responsible, within the highly decentralized institutional framework of cultural policy that the island has known since 2002. These are the projects and priorities that I will develop in a moment before the elected representatives of the Territorial Collectivity of Corsica.