Dear friends,

I am very pleased to be here with you for these traditional “JHA Meetings”.

Whatever their place of welcome, first in Beaune, then in Dijon and finally in Le Touquet, these meetings are a must for professionals. They are particularly strategic this year, given the wide-ranging reflections you are conducting: whether it be on the major economic and artistic developments of your professions, on the best way to preserve the independence and diversity of creation, or how best to reach all audiences and generations.

The round table that you have just held: "Culture, a strategic asset in Europe?" is a perfect illustration. I have no doubt about the answer to this question! And I will tell you how I will fight to advance this conviction and translate it into reality.

Dear friends, I believe that we all share the observation that the pandemic has accentuated the long-term changes already at work in the film and audiovisual sector.

That is why the action of the Government and my Ministry has not been limited to reacting to the emergency by constantly accompanying you in the face of every episode of the crisis, from ups and downs, from the initial explosion to today.

We have also, at the same time, put in place the measures and the framework that will allow you to meet the challenges of the future and to take full advantage of the recovery: both in terms of the rights of authors and directors, which will be strengthened, as regards the regulatory framework and investments in our production apparatus.


As you know, the French film industry was supported during the crisis like nowhere else in the world.

In this regard, the two years that have just passed have required a tremendous amount of work on the part of professionals and the Government, and I would like to commend your sense of mobilization.

Everyone here has seen this: the aid put in place by the State (€436 million in sectoral aid and €1.3 billion in cross-cutting schemes) has helped save our companies and help creators during the crisis.

I also recall the fundamental role of insurance fund for filming, which was extended until the end of the year: we owe it the exceptional continuity of activity in France, which has kept the entire industry alive despite the pandemic.

I will not detail all the measures put in place during the crisis, but I would like to remind you that to support authors' income, in support of the Solidarity Fund, the CNC has mobilized three sectoral emergency funds, created in partnership with SACD, SCAM and SACEM, which benefited more than 900 authors. At the same time, in order to strengthen support for the writing phase, we have launched a new €1 million Author Pathway Grant and strengthened design assistance, particularly for authors of the most fragile films.

As for producers, €38 million has been committed under sectoral measures, in the form of multiple adapted support (reinforcement of selective aid, increases in automatic production support, bonuses for mobilising this support, or the creation of a structural aid scheme).

Finally, on 22 September I announced the deployment of a final budget envelope for partially compensate for the effects of introducing the health pass on attendance. Producers will thus be able to benefit from financial compensation for films released during the period of implementation of the sanitary pass and until the end of September. This financial compensation will result in an additional increase in automatic support, which will be in addition to the one provided when the theatres reopened on May 19. The final technical details are currently being exchanged between the TNC and the professional organisations, but I hope that this measure will be implemented very quickly, before the end of the year.

But beyond the exceptional support I just mentioned, the work I have wanted to do at a sustained pace in recent months, because it is structuring for the future of the sector, is to reform, to consolidate them, many of the components of our cultural exception model. Because the crisis has propelled us into a new world: a world of challenges, which are opportunities for the 7th Art.

This vast project is about to be completed. It will meet our objectives:

  • the situation and rights of our creators will be considerably strengthened,
  • and we will have a regulatory framework and a production apparatus that will guarantee the diversity of French creation and its influence.
     

The first guarantee for creators is that their works are financed.

In this regard, we have managed to secure new funding for French and European creation by integrating platforms into our ecosystem.

  • an ambitious level of creative financing, 20 to 25% of the platforms' annual turnover based on their positioning in the media timeline, with a high level of pre-financing of works and a significant proportion reserved for works of original French expression;
  • a predominance of independent production since 75% of the prefinancing in cinema provided for by the obligations is arrow towards this one; I add that we have provided an ambitious definition of independence, to preserve the originality of European creation;
  • the reaffirmation of the place of the cinema in these new financings with a minimum of 1/5th of the global obligation – and I repeat, a minimum, since, of course, the platforms whose dominant editorial genre will be cinema will mainly contribute to the financing of cinema. As you know as well as I do, the opening in France of new services of this type is announced for the coming years. We must therefore not limit our expectations and ambitions for cinema to the characteristics of the existing landscape: we must prepare for the one that is being set up.
     

This integration of platforms into a 35-year-old funding model is historic progress. We have provided a structural solution to the financing of works. The level of contribution we have retained is important and envied by our European neighbours. This security will offer new funding opportunities alongside traditional funders, and internationalize our creations by offering them a global exhibition.

But there is one point I want to stress: the integration of platforms in the financing of French cinema presupposes a redesign of our media timeline. This is the necessary corollary of the new investment bonds.

Negotiating the terms of this timeline is up to you. But the discussion must now come to an end, except to take the risk of unbalancing the whole building we have built together. The order that “extends” the current timeline to non-signatories of the timeline, primarily platforms, expires on February 10, 2022. We cannot come across this deadline.

It is imperative that we have, before this date, a modernized timeline around its two fundamental and legal objectives: protect the cinema and ensure the best financing of French and European creation.

You have to actively negotiate with all the broadcasters, with the “historic” and with the new entrants. The TNC, as it has been doing for the past year, is at your disposal to facilitate this negotiation and I want to assure you that I am prepared to make a personal commitment to help you navigate the “last metres” of this obstacle course.


It is necessary, then, that the rights of authors and directors on the works thus financed, are protected: moral right but also right to remuneration. This is the goal of the transposition of two European directives adopted thanks to France’s efforts – the “copyright” directive and the “SMA” directive, which reaffirm the legitimacy of copyright and consolidate the concrete modalities of its exercise. 

As you know, we have made sure that the intellectual property code includes a clear obligation for platforms to transmit all information on the consumption of their works, for the benefit of collective management bodies, authors themselves, and even producers. This guarantee of transparency was a prerequisite: there is no point in granting rights if their holders are not allowed to monitor their compliance.

In addition, I am pleased that on October 12, in my presence in the department, you signed an agreement on “model clauses” for film. From now on, these stipulations guaranteeing authors' moral and economic rights must be included in all production contracts, otherwise the award of financial aid from the CNC will be impossible.

You know how necessary these clauses were. The principles of copyright were invented in France! They have been protecting the author for several centuries, but the latest developments in the landscape have forced us to reaffirm these rights against foreign platforms from a completely different legal culture. But we must not stop there.

Indeed, the negotiations provided for by the “copyright” order, which deals with remuneration for authors and contractual practices, must continue and be concluded. I know that the discussions are not simple and that they concern in particular the minimum envelopes dedicated to the remuneration of authors, or even the payment deadlines. An Order in Council could, as of May 13, decide some of these points if the negotiations fail. However, it goes without saying that a professional agreement is much more desirable, to take into account all the specificity and diversity of situations. That is why I am asking the TNC to quickly bring together the professional organizations and the OGC parties to the negotiations in order to assist them in bringing the positions together in a reasonable timeframe.

Finally, I am pleased with the enactment of legislation that will allow us toutter more effectively against hacking.

Significant progress has been made in recent years, particularly following legal actions taken by rights holders against massively infringing sites, and to which the CNC systematically participates. In 5 years, traffic to pirate sites has been halved, and the number of hackers has just dropped to its lowest level, seen in February 2020, to fewer than 10 million unique visitors.

Today, I would like to congratulate myself on the promulgation on October 25 of the law on the regulation and protection of access to cultural works in the digital age. This text introduces two new measures, expected by the industry but also by the other cultural industries whose copyright constitutes the bedrock.

Both mechanisms involve a new and powerful regulatory authority, Arcom, which will be able to devote to the fight against piracy of increased means.

First, Arcom will create a “blacklist” of websites whose business model is based on piracy, in order to dry up their revenue sources, including advertising.

The AMF will then be able to contact Internet service providers and search engines directly to block or dereference sites that mirror the content of those that have already been the subject of a court decision.

This is therefore another step forward in countering this scourge, which frustrates the creation of €1.3 million each year that are exempt from copyright.

Another topical issue that I know some of you are concerned about is theatre programming commitments.

Even though the theatres have suffered greatly from this crisis, we cannot accept that some establishments that broadcast a single American film in all their theatres. On the other hand, it is unacceptable that certain cinemas in our territories do not have access to the films that carry them.

In the current context, marked by a drop in attendance and a rich offer of French and international films, how can we ensure that all films have their chance to meet their audiences?  

We must combat both the difficulties of film access to cinemas and the difficulties of cinema access to films. I say, the public must have access, everywhere, to a diversified offer!

The negotiations for the new programming commitments for the large-scale exploitation rooms could not be concluded before the start of the health crisis.

It is important that these negotiations resume in a renewed, simplified and adapted framework to the context of the recovery of activity of the sector, in order to find a balance between the search for a diversity of films in theatres, and the economic sustainability of this one.

I have therefore asked the TNC to enter into consultations without further delay in order to reach renewed programming commitments early next year.

I would first like to say that I will announce my priorities for the French presidency of the European Union on 30 November at the European Council of Ministers for Culture.

Among the issues of strategic regulation that are before us, the second most important issue that we, the Member States of the European Union, must face and that you have mentioned during your debates this after-noon: preserving our cultural sovereignty and our ability to protect strategic cultural assets made by Europeans in the field of culture. 

As you know, there are now risks that cinemas, certain national broadcasters, production companies, or simply their catalogues of works, will be bought by companies far removed from any cultural objective, as investment funds, particularly from countries outside the European Union.

We need to protect ourselves from these predatory buyouts.

We have acted in France with the means at our disposal. Article 30 of the Law of 25 October on the Regulation and Protection of Access to Cultural Works in the Digital Age provides that when a producer sells his catalogue to a company which is not subject to the same rules as production, the Government may require this buyer to provide guarantees to protect public access to these works through their continued exploitation.

And I am announcing that the decree implementing this measure will be submitted to the consultation this week: we must not waste time!

But the problem goes beyond our borders.

That is why I hope that on the occasion of the French presidency of the European Union, discussions will be held with the European institutions and our European partners to find ways together to protect our strategic cultural assets. 

I would also like to see a reflection at European level on the independence of European works, which is an essential dimension. Today, as you know, the definition of European works in European legislation does not include any criteria related to the possession of assets and rights by European producers. A work can therefore be European while being fully financed and owned by non-European companies. This cannot be a lasting situation for the industry of our continent. The works produced by Europeans, which constitute the wealth and pride of our audiences and which they have financed, must retain their European identity.

I hope to see all of you again in Angers in January in order to take part in an "audiovisual and cinema" day organized by the French Presidency of the European Union and to contribute with your proposals to this ambition that is ours of a strong Europe of culture.

The cultural sector, which contributes seven times more than the automobile industry to growth and which, above all, conveys our identity, our memory, the collective representations that will shape tomorrow’s society, deserves special attention.

Culture will therefore be at the heart of the French presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Finally, a few words on the state investments announced by the President of the Republic under the name of «France 2030».

It is a matter of turning risk into opportunity, the crisis into opportunity, by investing primarily in the most promising areas, those that will make the economy and create the jobs of tomorrow. 

The France 2030 plan was conceived as a sovereignty accelerator for a more independent, innovative and attractive France.

Culture is one of the priority projects of the future, it is of course obvious, but it is sometimes better to remember it. €600 million has been earmarked to put France at the top of the production of cultural content: €300 million for the creation of studios, €100 million for training, and €200 million for new technologies and especially immersive reality, has applications in many cultural fields, be it audiovisual, video games, live entertainment or heritage. This €600 million is in addition to the €400 million earmarked for Culture in the framework of the AIP4: that’s €1 billion for the future of culture!

This unprecedented plan in the history of our film policy is based on a conviction: France can impose itself in the coming decades as a land of filmmaking and digital production unavoidable at the international level, but it needs to increase its human and technical capacities tenfold.

That is why Plan France 2030 provides for massive investments in French creation: in the training of its talents and in its production apparatus.

The training plan that we are building concerns the entire sector, from writing to technical industries, and all generations, with a focus on initial and continuing training.

Our schools are among the best in the world, we are going to increase the number of graduates, strengthen certain training areas that we still lack, create bridges to enable young people to learn in the field... I also hope that special attention will be paid to the accessibility of our training to all, to profiles from all walks of life. This is how we will give a new breath to our entire image industry!

With regard to investment in production infrastructure, the President of the Republic has already announced in Marseille the creation of major studios in the Mediterranean, likely to attract international film and series shoots, which will be followed by other State investments, notably in the Ile-de-France, Occitanie and Hauts-de-France regions.

The governance of this major investment plan will be in place by the end of the year. We are currently in the process of identifying training needs and filming capabilities so that we can launch the first calls for expressions of interest or calls for projects in early 2022.

France 2030 and all the measures taken to renovate our framework will thus enable French audiovisual and film production to have the tools it needs to face the challenges of the future of the sector with determination and optimism.

This is the message I wanted to send to you today, a message of strength and ambition for French cinema.

Thank you.