Patience often pays off. Wednesday September 22, during the 76e annual congress of the National Federation of French Cinemas (FNCF) in Deauville (Calvados), Roselyne Bachelot unexpectedly got stuck in the elevator with her host, Richard Patry, the president of the FNCF. They themselves had fun like college students, like all the representatives of cinemas. And the latter were right to wait, since the Minister of Culture once again provided them with the financial assistance they were hoping for.
After three hundred days of closure due to the pandemic, cinemas were the first to set up the health pass, from July 21. “We have served as a lever for the government’s vaccination policy, which has been crowned with success”, Richard Patry deciphered. But the theaters have paid the price, since, “Between July 21 and the end of August, they lost 7 million spectators, which represents 54 million euros of lost earnings”, he continued.
Roselyne Bachelot reassured operators by coming to Deauville with a new envelope of 34 million euros. Of this total, 27 million will be intended to compensate for the loss of revenue linked to the establishment of the sanitary pass in theaters, and 7 million will go to distributors and producers. This windfall will be added to the 402 million euros of specific public aid granted to the seventh art since the start of the pandemic.
Fight against piracy
Government action has made it possible to preserve the exceptional number of cinemas (2,040 establishments, including 233 multiplexes), “Without any having closed”, recognized Richard Patry. And after a violent summer shock, with attendance down by 30% compared to August 2019, spectators are gradually returning to a more normal low water level. Even if independent distributors are alarmed by the particularly disappointing results of certain auteur films.
Each year, the Deauville congress serves as an outlet, and those in charge of the rooms go through the list of the evils which overwhelm them. Once again, the question of the fight against piracy, which cuts the sector by some 1.3 billion euros every year, according to Nicolas Seydoux, the president of the Association for the fight against audiovisual piracy, has come back to Table. Especially since the cinema has just lost a battle over the summer: against the advice of parliamentarians, the government did not wish to legislate to set up a fine of 135 euros against fraudulent internet users .
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