The measure aims to avoid an overflow when the theaters reopen, while the cinemas have been closed since the end of October. The National Center for Cinema and Animated Image (CNC) announced, Thursday 1er April, a derogation to exceptionally allow films intended for cinemas to be released on the small screen. The CNC specifies that the aid received for these films supposed to be released in theaters will be the same, whereas they are lower when a film is released directly on the small screen.
While nearly 400 French and foreign films are ready to be released, professionals fear a huge traffic jam when theaters reopen. “It would be detrimental both for the public and for our creators if, due to too many films available, large productions, especially American ones, deprive more diverse works of exposure. It is essential that each work be able to meet its audience ”, declared the president of the CNC, Dominique Boutonnat, in a press release.
Towards a concerted calendar of theatrical releases
In practice, films may ask the CNC to benefit from this exemption, in order to be released exceptionally on online platforms, on DVD or even on television, up to one month after the reopening of theaters, “While retaining the aid received” during their production.
This measure “Does not in any way call into question the chronology of the media or its upcoming development”, takes care to emphasize the CNC. These rules, which govern the release of films in France from their theatrical release to their broadcast on television in particular, are currently being re-discussed to better take into account powerful Netflix-type platforms.
Other measures could be announced in an attempt to bring order to the enormous mass of films awaiting release: the Competition Authority is due to vote soon on a “Concerted calendar of theatrical releases”, desired by professionals.