France looks to ramp up status as a global film hub

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The French film industry looks to increase its standing as a major film production hub, whilst protecting its national industry. 

Although she may never have actually said it, it was Marie Antoinette, the Queen Consort of 18th Century France, that was reputed to have uttered that famous line, ‘Let them eat cake.’ Fast forward three centuries or so and the French film industry is looking to do just that by having its cake and yes, eating it too.

Following a trial period that has been dubbed as a success, the French film industry is looking to ramp up inward investment and build on the successful financial returns it’s seen from its tax credits programme. Why is this so interesting? For decades now France has been one of the world’s most protectionist film industries, enshrining into law a number of economic and cultural measures that protect its homegrown film productions.

Now though, the industry is looking to continue doing that whilst also building France’s status as a global film production hub that will attract Hollywood productions and all of the dollars that accompany them.

So far it seems to be working too, with major homegrown productions such as The Three Musketeers: D’Artagnan and The Three Musketeers: Milady electing to film in France despite ‘fiercely competitive’ tax breaks being available elsewhere in Europe. Meanwhile, the industry has seen inward investment climb significantly, especially in ‘prestige TV’ as companies like Amazon and Netflix seek to make use of French studios and of course, the country’s unique iconography.

The key here will be if the French industry can maintain a healthy balance between the two, but if it can, there’ll be more than the odd British producer on this side of the Channel struggling to get their project off the ground who will glance enviously at the country as it uses foreign investment to continue beefing up its infrastructure, whilst still supporting and producing films that are entirely homegrown.

Screen Daily

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