There are days when you can make dozens of friends by telling them that they have won the jackpot, but even more disappointed. During the 76th Cannes Film Festival, the Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul-Malak, unveiled, on Friday May 19, the list of 68 winners out of the 175 candidates who competed in “La Grande Fabrique de l’image”, a call to unprecedented projects of France 2030 endowed with 350 million euros.
Operated on behalf of the State by the Caisse des dépôts and the National Center for Cinema and the Moving Image, its ambition consists, according to the Minister, in “to make France a leader in filming, film, series and video game production, post-production and training in cinema and audiovisual professions”. In total, eleven film studios, twelve animation studios, six video game studios, five special effects and post-production studios and thirty-four training organizations will receive financial aid.
Due to a lack of mive investment, France has accumulated a serious delay in filming capacities vis-à-vis its neighbours. They peak at 360,000 square meters in the United Kingdom (with Pinewood, Warner/Leavesden and Shepperton, where Hollywood and Netflix productions are linked). Germany has 156,000 m2 of studios, including Babelsberg, MMC and Bavaria Studios, ahead of Hungary (62,000 m2). France only comes in fourth place.
Above all, since 2020, mive investments have been devoted to this sector across the Channel, where 2 billion pounds (2.3 billion euros) have enabled the extension of existing studios and the construction of new infrastructure. Also in Italy, the mythical Cinecitta studio, where Federico Fellini filmed for more than twenty years, received 300 million euros from the European Union to expand and adapt to new technologies.
“New Golden Age”
In France, the 23 existing studios are showing full order books and filming capacity must urgently increase to meet the explosion in demand, both for films and for audiovisual programmes. This “new golden age”according to Rima Abdul-Malak, testifies “of great vitality in production, which could double by 2030”.
Concretely, “the objective, with La Fabrique de l’image, is to double the surface area of film studio sets, to reach 153,000 m² and reach the top in Europe by 2030 [et numéro deux après le Royaume-Uni] », said the minister. It also wants to quadruple the area of permanent exterior decorations (decorations for building facades, streets, stations, etc.), to reach 187,000 m².
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