Fewer films produced, less investment, fewer shooting days, closed screening rooms … the Covid-19 has violently affected the cinema sector. The National Center for Cinema and Animated Image (CNC) presents the state of film production in 2020 and discusses the measures put in place to support the sector.
A very marked drop in production
With 239 films produced in 2020 – 190 French initiative films and 49 foreign-majority films – the number of films produced is the lowest for ten years . The number of French initiative films fell by 20.8%, ie 50 films less. The first and second films are the most affected with 27 fewer films compared to the previous year.
Travel restrictions abroad have also had a strong impact on international co-productions, for which there has been a reduction in their number of 24.10%, the lowest level since 2006.
The investment in the production of films have also declined (- 29.8%). The films with the highest budgets of 1 to 4 million euros and over 5 million euros are the most affected by this decrease. Low budget films, documentaries and animated films are less affected. Investments by television channels, all channels combined (pay, free-to-air, TNT), also fell (around 20%).
The cumulative number of shooting days (4,267 days for French initiative fiction films) has decreasedby 30.2% compared to 2019, the lowest level in 20 years. Their average shooting duration is 32 days (34 days in 2019). The number of shooting days on French territory amounted to 3,590 days in 2020 (4,827 days in 2019). This decrease concerns filming in natural settings such as studio filming.
Aid for the cinema sector
Faced with the health crisis, the CNC and the State are putting in place a number of mechanisms to support the sector, including:
- a compensation and guarantee fund at the end of the first confinement, in order to facilitate the resumption of filming, to the tune of 100 million euros, co-financed by the State and private insurers. It partially covers the pandemic risk in the event of an interruption in filming linked to Covid-19;
- a recovery plan endowed with 12.2 million euros, followed by an emergency support plan of 11.8 million euros, following the second confinement, at the initiative of the CNC. In total, 24 million euros are injected in favor of film production. These various plans made it possible to limit the drop in public funding in 2020 (automatic support, selective support from the CNC, regional aid).