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Seventh Workshop – 27 to 29 September 2017 – Finstadjordet, Norway

Module 6 – Distribution and Promotion Schemes

Introduction

This module is dedicated to sharing information about various support programmes for distribution and promotion already in place or those that funds only wish to implement.

Or, in other words,

Case study 1 / The CNC’s distribution and promotion schemes

Axel Scoffier, Head of Finance - Financial and Legal Department
www.cnc.fr
See also Axel Scoffier’s presentation (PDF)

Why promote distribution and promotion?

In the past years, distribution was the most fragile point in the entire chain.

The CNC’s promotion and distribution schemes

About CNC

Distribution & Promotion schemes

One third of the CNC budget is allocated to the support for distribution, exhibition and promotion of French films in France and abroad. We provide direct and indirect support for distribution and promotion 

We need to support our sales agencies more, find the way to increase the domestic market share and aim at more works that would reach new markets both in France and abroad. 

Support schemes for the distribution of films in France

The two main support schemes for distributors are:

In addition to support for distribution companies, we also have support schemes for:

There are also two dedicated bodies that indirectly support French distributors and art-house cinemas:

Support schemes for French films abroad:

The CNC has three schemes for international promotion dedicated to fostering distribution and promotion of the French works abroad:

  1. Support scheme for international promotion of cinematographic and audiovisual works: It used to be a selective scheme, but recently it has transformed into an automatic scheme.
  2. Aide aux cinemas du monde (ACM)/ distribution: dedicated to international promotion of cinematographic works that received support from Aide aux cinemas du monde. 
  3. Digitization scheme for theaters abroad: that are part of French cultural centers and organize festivals of French cinema and similar events. 

1. Selective support scheme for international promotion of audiovisual works

2. Aide aux cinémas du monde (ACM) / distribution

Support schemes for national agencies

CNC is also a co-financer of different audiovisual agencies:

1 including cinema and audiovisual, video game, performing Arts, fashion, music, press, library, literary publishing, Art Galeries, design, artistic careers, theater, museums, heritage, plastic and digital arts
2 Called the FARAP fund

Innovative actions:

Conclusions

But,

Questions from the audience

How do you manage to tax Netflix and other companies?
We passed the law obliging them to pay the tax. They have to do that when declaring the revenues that they made in France. We simply check the number of subscribers and calculate the tax on that basis. But it is still difficult with some other platforms. For example, how do you control revenues on Youtube videos. 
You said you pay to producers and sales agents to travel to film festivals. How do you validate that type of support? In Chile we support that, but it is difficult to monitor what they do with the money. They do not provide numbers, they jut give us letters of intent and pre-agreements with people they met on festivals, but I never see an actual contract. On the other hand, we have producers who never get public funding, still make blockbusters and sell their films without traveling 
Part of their job is to promote and make parties. So you cannot blame them if they do not bring contracts. 
Do you give this money only to sales?
We give money to anybody who holds the rights. It does not have to be a sales agent. 
How can producers apply to a distribution scheme?
We sometimes have producers who decide to be distributors and then they apply for distribution funding, but it is not the same job. It often does not work. We also have cases when distributors decide to become producers as well. They want to own the rights and get more money back having a status of co-producer. 
How do French VoD platforms cope with Netflix?
The problem with French VoD platforms is that they do not have exclusive, original content, but only the old content that follows the release chronology. So there is a question if some films should have the first release on VoD. Would it make the French VoD platforms more competitive?

Case study 2/ Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the provision of audiovisual media services in view of changing market realities in Europe

Presented by Michal Hradicky, Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic

What does this new legislation bring in terms of promotion and distribution?

Part of my job is to sit in the European Commission in Brussels and attend discussion on the legislation regarding the European audiovisual sector. In 2017, there was also discussion on how much Netflix and other VoD platforms contribute or do not contribute to individual European countries. And this issue is addressed in the mentioned piece of legislation. I will present Article 13 of the proposed document that is relevant for the film funds and can affect their work.

Questions from the audience

What is the definition of the European content? 
This document does not provide that definition. We will probably use the definition from the Directive on TV quota that is already in place. 
What is new in the discussion on Digital Single Market (DSM)? 
There are several aspects in the DSM relevant for the public film funds, such as the AVDMS Directive and the copyright laws. Many aspects of the DSM are still under discussion in the EU institutions. Everything should be agreed until the end of the current mandate of the commission (1.5-2 years left). (Axel: In the French system they would have to do both. Whenever you invest, you also have to pay a tax). 
Netflix is an ardent proponent of a digital single market in Europe, because they don’t like the idea of fragmented Europe where each country has different requirements and some countries, like France, require that the platforms pay taxes even when they invest into local content.
What is the timeline regarding this legislation?
The proposal was made in May 2017 and we should be able to finish the final document until the end of this year or beginning of the next year, but it depends on the dynamics of approval of the documents by different institutions and bureaucrats within the EU administration. After that, the national states will have to transpose it into their national laws, which will happen within the obligatory period of 18 months. By the end of 2019 all member states shall have the 30% quota.

Outcomes of group discussions

The Role of Public Film Funds in the Future

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