France’s Film Industry Revising Windows

Originally published on Dark Horizons by Garth Franklin

France’s major film guilds – BLIC, BLOC and ARP – have drafted proposals to amend France’s notoriously strict film windows.

The guilds on Tuesday submitted proposals to the French government which has to enact new regulations by July 1st as part of the European continent’s ambitious Audiovisual Media Services Directive.

The proposals submitted by the film organisations would give a six-month window to pay-TV groups as well as streaming services that invest at least 75% of their annual revenue in France in films that will premiere in French theaters.

Other subscription-based streaming services would access films at 12-15 months, depending on their investments. The shorter windows are seen as strong incentives for streamers like Netflix who currently have to wait a full three years after a film comes out in French theaters before it can be released on the platform.

Under the agreement, streaming services would not only need to invest a minimum of their annual revenues in movies that are released in theaters, but also be transparent about their number of subscribers and annual turnover in France.

Streamers would also have to pay royalties to authors, pre-finance French and European content, respect clauses of diversity to spread their wealth across a wide range of content, respect a cap on in-house productions, and editorialize their programming to ensure the promotion of local content.

Netflix has been thriving in France which ranks as one of the service’s biggest international markets, even with a 36-month window. French industry players believe they will be willing to increase their investment and pre-financing of local content considerably so as to be better positioned in the local market.

Source: Variety

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