Genre films are a hot topic of conversation at the CNC's round-table event
by Valérie Ganne
- CANNES 2018: The CNC wraps up its most recent series of round-tables with a meeting about French genre cinema and writing residencies
Thursday, 17 May, the CNC has wrapped up its most recent series of round-table events with a meeting about French genre cinema and the writing residencies set up by the Centre along with SoFilm, Canal+ and several regions.
Fantasy films, thrillers and musicals... genre cinema is still a fairly rare entity in France. But the success of Raw [+see also:
interview: Julia Ducournau
film profile] by Julia Ducournau (multi-award winning and presented at the Critics' Week in 2016) has changed people's attitudes: the CNC announced in early May that it would be setting up a special "genre film" fund with a budget of €1,500,000 to be allocated to three to four supported feature film projects per year. The new commission is to be chaired by none other than Julia Ducournau.
The director of CNC cinema, Xavier Lardoux, stressed during the round table event that not all genres will be supported, just those that are particularly underfunded in France, such as "fantasy, science fiction and horror films," which are the subject of the first call for projects due to open next June. Genres will be subsequently changed or expanded, to include musical comedies, for example, following the end of the "first round" of this new commission.
Musical comedy is the genre of the short films written by two directors in attendance on Gray d'Albion beach this Thursday: Madeleine Feret Fleury and Valerie Leroy. Their screenplays have been selected – from 200 received – to participate in the CNC's genre film residency. Thierry Lounas, producer and creator of the monthly So Film publication and festival, has been coordinating these residencies since 2016. Canal+, an on-demand channel for genre films, has agreed to pre-purchase five short films each year from this development. "In less than three years, 30 projects have been supported and 15 short films have been made," said Thierry Lounas. The Regions of Aquitaine, Center-Val de Loire, Grand Est and Bordeaux Métropole are also partners in the scheme. "In this new agreement, which various regions have just signed with the CNC, there is a section dedicated to writing residences, which we will be supporting financially," stated Julien Neutres, director of regional and public content. A new generation of auteurs, directors and writers are very keen to write genre films, with 600 scripts received during the first call for fantasy genre projects.
These initiatives are of particular interest to the Canal+ Group, the Ciné+ channel, Ciné+ frisson and the subscription-based catch-up service, where themed collections are due to be launched, the first of which will focus on horror films. As pointed out by Bruno Deloy (director of Ciné+), genre cinema is very structuring when it comes to scheduling, our viewers are very demanding "more so than French terrestrial channels and distributors, which are somewhat put off by restrictions (under 12 and under 16) that reduce potential audiences. Clément Lepoutre, a young producer of genre films (Vixens), stated that it is ultimately international funding and private investment funds that make up for this reluctance: "This new support from the CNC is obviously very good news for us producers!"
(Translated from French)
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