France Launches Selective Subsidy Scheme For Local Content Fully Financed by Non-European Platforms

France’s National Film Board (CNC) has launched a selective funding scheme for French audiovisual content that are pre-financed exclusively by non-European platforms, such as Netflix, Amazon and Disney Plus.

Named the “fonds sélectif plateformes,” the dedicated scheme will have a total budget of €5 million ($5.7 million) and will go to projects fully financed by platforms and produced by French producers who will be the beneficiaries of the subsidies.

The funding initiative is being backed by France’s culture minister and was approved by the CNC’s administrative board on Nov. 5.

The CNC president pointed out “platforms are obligated to invest in French content since July so the fund is there to accompany the evolution of the TV and film industry” and ultimately “strengthen its independent production sector.”

Since July 1, streamers indeed have to invest between 20%-25% of their French revenues in French content under a new decree that stemmed from the implementation of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMS). The legislation was put forth by the European Commission to place streaming giants on an even playing field with existing players across Europe. France is the first country to have set new rules and regulations as part of the AVMS and other countries within the E.U. are expected to follow course.

The content eligible for the “fonds selectif platformes” has to be entirely or mainly shot in French and can range from fiction to animation, documentaries and performing art’s audiovisual adaptations. Series or films financed with other streaming services or TV channels in France are not eligible.

The first selection committee will be held on Dec. 3 with an additional two to take place in April. Netflix’s current slate of French originals include Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s “Big Bug” and the sequel of “On the Other Side of the Tracks” re-teaming “Lupin” director Louis Leterrier and star Omar Sy.

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