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French Movie Industry Attracts Record Number Of International Producers

France's movie industry is prospering: in 2011, 272 approved films were produced, which is the highest number yet. The number of co-productions with a majority non-French backing was also at its highest in 2011: 65 films were shot, as compared to 58 in 2010. This appeal is due to various factors, including France's Tax Rebate for International Productions (known as TRIP).
"The co-production of films with majority [non-French] backing reached record levels in 2011. This is largely due to the expertise of French professionals, technicians, and image/sound engineers, as well as the beauty of France's natural, historical and cultural heritage. Excellent transport and communications infrastructures, efficient public services and a wide choice of hotels further enhance the attractiveness of France for foreign professionals in this sector," explains David Appia, Chairman and CEO of the Invest in France Agency (IFA).
In 2011, 272 films were produced in France, which is the highest number ever approved in a single year, according to the Centre National du Cinéma et de l'Image Animé (or CNC, France's National Centre for Cinema and the Moving Image).
The number of films (207) and amount of funding (€1.128 billion) for French-produced films within France remained largely unchanged in 2011. However, there were 120 co-production films (as compared to 118 in 2010), and the number of films with a majority non-French backing was higher than ever, with 65 movies (against 58 in 2010). Belgium, Germany and Italy were the leading co-production countries.
These figures confirm the French film industry's power to attract foreign partners. In 2011, non-French productions shot in France included Sherlock Holmes 2 (USA) and Chinese Zodiac (China), as well as two TV series from the UK — Death in Paradise and Merlin. Movies such as Hereafter, directed by Clint Eastwood, Hugo, by Martin Scorsese, and Midnight in Paris, by Woody Allen, were also shot in the country.
France's attractiveness in this field is partly due to the country's Tax Rebate for International Productions (or TRIP), which was introduced in 2009. TRIP supports non-French companies making part or all of a film in France by covering up to 20% of eligible production costs in the country. Subsidies granted by local authorities also support cinema and audio-visual productions.
France's expertise in digital visual effects and animation sustains a buoyant sector, thanks to a range of projects for international audiences such as the production of The Lorax, an American movie that achieved record box-office sales in the USA. With companies such as BUF Compagnie, Mac Guff and Mikros Image, France has acquired a worldwide reputation in the field of special effects and 3D technology, as will be in evidence in The Grandmasters, the forthcoming movie by Chinese filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai.
Home to the annual Cannes Film Festival (which takes place in Cannes, on the French Riviera) and the Deauville American Film Festival (which takes place in Deauville, on the Normandy coast), France is a privileged location in Europe for cinema and audio-visual productions. The country's attractiveness is also reflected in the presence in France of such international companies as Fox Searchlight Pictures (a subsidiary of Twentieth Century Fox), Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures France, NBC Universal Global Networks France, and Sony Pictures France.
France has various organisations and facilities that support film production within the country. Film France is an association that helps foreign producers make useful contacts with French-based production companies, while on-location assistance is offered via a regional network of film support offices. Film studios in regions such as Ile-de-France (i.e. Paris and its region) and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (in South-Eastern France), along with other production facilities in cities such as Lille and Lyons, are able to accommodate productions destined for global audiences.
The number of Oscars awarded to The Artist and the international success of The Intouchables confirm the vibrancy and global reach of the French movie industry.

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