For two and a half years, I have had both the luck and the privilege of presiding over the CNC. With the support of the Ministers of Culture and Communication, Frédéric Mitterrand and Aurélie Filippetti, with the commitment of the CNC’s employees, especially my Deputy General Manager Audrey Azoulay, and with the trust of all of the professionals, together we have been able to pursue large-scale projects and take on major challenges.
We have accomplished so much in two and a half years,
- with the digitalization of movie theaters (nearly 100% are now digitalized!);
- with the digital restoration of great films of the past (already 229 films digitalized thanks to the CNC, in addition to the 260 Gaumont films digitalized with the financial support of the French National Loan);
- with the “Cinécult” platform, which will make the treasures of the French Film Archives and all French Cinémathèques available online to wide audiences in France and abroad;
- with the reform of automatic and selective support, from production to video-on-demand through distribution and cinema exhibition;
- with the new policy focusing on "music on images" (from short films to TV programs, from the Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris to cultural action through festivals);
- with the strengthening of art education programs (including reform of the FEMIS and consolidation of the CEEA);
- with the creation of the “Shortest Day” short film festival, launched in 2011 which will be held in 40 countries and several thousand schools on December 21st, with the patronage of David Lynch;
- with the creation of the World Cinema Support (already 55 films supported, including 3 shown at Cannes);
- with the signature of international agreements, with countries as diverse as Armenia, Bulgaria, Colombia, Croatia, Italy, Kenya, Poland, and the Ukraine (which pushes us to the top rank worldwide, ahead of Canada!);
- with the creation of a fund granting repayable advances for exports;
- with the reform of terms for advances on earnings;
- with the renewal of regional agreements;
- with the reform of documentary and television series support, as well as the overhaul of the Audiovisual Innovation Fund;
- with the creation of Web program support (WebCosip) and the reform of tax rebates for cinema, audiovisual programs, and, soon, video games;
- with the rescue and consolidation of the technical industries and the Lepers-Portugal prospective mission;
- with the excellent 2011 to 2013 Cannes Film Festivals, and the two beautiful Palmes d’Or awarded to French films, not to mention the six Oscars! Plus all of the countless festivals where the CNC is present and where works bearing the CNC initials flourish;
- with the organization of the Assises pour la Diversité du Cinéma (Conference on Diversity in Cinema) and the coordination of the monitoring group, with the organization of the Cannes International Conference on Cultural Exception, which was decisive in obtaining the exclusion of culture from the EU negotiating mandate with the United States;
- with the consolidation of the network of European Film Agency Directors (EFADs), in which France was unquestionably a leader, and the sharing of our expertise across all continents, from Buenos Aires to Ulan Bator…
… and the examples could go on. There is not a single CNC support scheme or policy that has not been reformed or created from scratch during these past years.
For the tax issue, the third time was not the charm: the CNC had to reexplain the French ecosystem and renegotiate it with the European Commission. Despite Brussels' attacks, the budgetary levies, and the repeated audits, nothing was and nothing ever will be able to undermine the strength and the true wealth of the CNC, which is the value and exceptional devotion of its employees, and its ability to constantly evolve and challenge itself, in order to better serve creators and their partners.
Undoubtedly “we will never be finished with this fight for the cultural exception” (Pierre Viot, former General Manager of the CNC). But the day may come when European Union and World Trade Organisation treaties are reformed to include the right (or even the obligation!) of all States to finance their culture, by all possible and imaginable means. In the end, this voice will triumph, because some have the power of inertia, but we have the power of our convictions. Nothing human can be lasting that is not founded on a living yet anchored culture, traveling yet deeply rooted... …
Making the CNC the House of Images from the World and not just the House of French Cinema, working constantly to streamline and modernize ourselves, this is what we have to do to remain the “Mothership” in the eyes of other national cinema centers, in the 21st century.
I would like to warmly thank all of the CNC employees from the bottom of my heart, as well as the directors and all other professionals, for their confidence and also for their friendship. I wish my successor the utmost success.