The Minister of Culture launched the documentary year at Fipadoc!

The 2023 Documentary Year was officially launched on Monday 23 January at Fipadoc, the Biarritz International Documentary Festival, by Rima Abdul Malak, Minister of Culture.

The documentary year was launched on January 23, 2023 © DR

The Year of Documentary 2023 will have the ambition to promote a genre that is already popular with the public, but also aims to initiate reflections and reforms on public support to meet the challenges of writing, funding and documentary broadcasting. This audiovisual sector, the flagship of French know-how, must be able to continue to develop in an increasingly complex context.

2022, the year of great achievements!

“In a society where quick judgments abound, we have to face our gazes, to change our perspectives. With the documentary, from a look focused on the intimate, we transcend a situation and we create something universal from it. Documentary irrigates all our social relations and illuminates our vision… It also forms an economic ecosystem, driven by regions, through public broadcasting represented by France Télévisions and Arte, which together represent 73% of support in this sector…

Without these forms of funding, the ecosystem would not be as strong or able to support independent producers who take the risks to support directors. But the results and success are there … The snow panther and its 700,000 cinema admissions, sons of daeshnow winner of an international Emmy Award, run awaya European animated documentary that won the Cristal and was nominated for an Oscar,” the minister emphasized in his speech on Monday.

A diversity carried by an entire ecosystem

“The numbers encourage us to project ourselves into the future with an increase in sales of more than 36% in 10 years worldwide… We must continue to promote creative freedom! This documentary year 2023 opens with an updated regulatory framework and producer organizations taking advantage of this new framework. The new support for independent producers introduced on January 1 as well as the multi-party agreement to regulate authors’ salaries signed tonight is very constructive.

I would like to thank CNC and SCAM for starting the joint initiative for the documentary year, which will be an opportunity to promote the legacy and increase the visibility of the genre to the general public. The CNC, for its part, will create a documentary bonus for arthouses and this year is an opportunity to affirm the support desired by the public authorities… I am pleased to declare this year 2023 open from the documentary! »

Practice the documentaries of tomorrow

Documentary creation is evolving like no other with technical and technological developments. Writing, producing, directing and broadcasting tomorrow’s documentaries is an important issue. Documentary training structures are numerous, from large general national institutions to more specific and specialized training. All schools and professional training structures concerned will be central partners of the Year of Documentary mentioned in the press kit dedicated to the Year of Documentary.

Professional meetings

Among the initiatives already recorded, Scam, ARTE and the CNC will organize “Documentary, food for thought” meeting days about the practice of documentary. Unifrance will organize a day of reflection on the export of documentaries on February 7 and the CNC will organize a day of reflection on the challenges of documentaries later this year.

Do you really know the documentary sector?

  • An emerging sector driven by more than… 50,000 professionals!
  • A wealth and diversity emblematic of French artistic and cultural dynamism.
  • A large group of internationally recognized authors since the Lumière brothers… We could mention Chantal Akerman, Alain Cavalier, Raymond Depardon, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Lanzmann, Sebastien Lifshitz, Chris Marker, Marcel Ophüls, Mariana Otero, Rithy Panh, Raoul Peck, Nicolas Philibert, Frederic Rossif, Claire Simon, Agnès Varda, Frederick Wiseman…
  • Creativity and innovation of talent from all walks of life: Alice Diop, Clément Cogitore, Dieudo Hamadi, JR, Jean-Gabriel Périot Anne Poiret…
  • Blockbuster movies like Microcosm Le grass people of Claude Nuridsany and Marie Perennou; The emperor’s walk by Luc Jacquet (Oscar for best documentary 2006); To be and have by Nicolas Philibert oceans by Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud, tomorrow by Cyril Dion and Melanie Laurent; and on television a genre brought to life by authors such as Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Daniel Costelle, Yves Jeuland, Virginie Linhart, Jérôme Prieur, Marie-Monique Robin.
  • Works recently awarded international prizes The Fighter by Camilla Ponsin (National Documentary Grand Prize at Fipadoc 2022); See you on Friday, Robinson by Mitra Farahani (Special Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival 2022); The Snow Panther of Vincent Munier and Marie Amiguet (César for Best Documentary 2022); Wagner, Putin’s shadow army from Alexandra Jousset and Ksenia Bolchakova (Albert Londres Prize and FIGRA Grand Prix); Sons of Daesh, the curse of war by Anne Poiret (Emmy Awards for Best Documentary 2022) or the film animated run away by Jonas Poher Rasmussen, international co-production between 10 countries (awarded of the Documentary Jury Grand Prize at Sundance 2021, of the Crystal Globe at the Festival international du film d’animation d’Annecy and received three nominations for the 2022 Oscars in documentary film, international film and animated film categories).
  • A great legacy, a true treasure to be treasured.
  • An unparalleled link to territories and populations.
  • An important educational tool for young people to understand the world, understand better the images that represent it, knowing how to decipher them, learning how to make them.

And to complete some important figures of the documentary

  • This is the first audiovisual genre supported by the CNC: 1,869 hours in 2021, i.e. +7% compared to 2020.
  • €71 million paid to more than 550 audiovisual producers in 2021.
  • 25% of the hours of audiovisual documentaries supported between 2016 and 2020 were produced strictly by women, compared to 61% by men and 14% by mixed teams.
  • 24% of documentary hours supported between 2016 and 2020 were written strictly by women, compared to 54% by men and 22% by mixed teams.
  • France Télévisions 1st funder of creative documentaries with €85 million invested in 2021, ahead of Arte with €39 million.
  • France Télévisions, leading television documentary audiences with 41 of the top 50 audiences in 2022.
  • 71 dance documentary films (some of which are still being written) funded since 2017 by the dance delegation of the Ministry of Culture, noting a “blind spot” in the current aid programs on this subject.
  • Three CNC-supported documentaries rank in the top 10 for audiences in 2022: Blacks in France made by Bangumi, The Bourvil crossing made by Kcraft & Co and A very long silence produced by Imagissime and Scarlett Production
  • €37 million in export sales for audiovisual documentaries in 2021, 4th highest level in 20 years.
  • French documentary series, great visibility on VàDA platforms, 3rd most represented nationality behind American and British programs in July 2022.
  • €1.6 million paid by the Documentary Innovation Aid Fund to film and audiovisual authors and producers for writing and developing projects with a strong artistic bias.
  • €1 million paid by the Images of Diversity Fund to cinemas and audiovisual documentaries that offer new representations of French reality.
  • 50 feature-length documentaries approved in 2021, including 44 of the French initiative.
  • More than 60 archeology documentaries co-produced and broadcast by Inrap on public channels.
  • 41% of the approved documentaries of the French initiative benefit from selective production assistance from the CNC (before or after production).
  • 89 documentaries released in French cinemas in 2021, i.e. 20% of the offer of first-run films.
  • 58 recommended Art and Essay documentaries in 2021.
  • 1.1 million admissions in 2021, in theaters, which is at the top of the ranking The Panther of snow by Marie Amiguet and Vincent Munier.
  • Support for the emergence of documentary through grants to associations and festivals working to discover and support authors as well as through support for short documentaries.
  • 350 screenings per year and 14,000 spectators for the screenings organized by La Cinémathèque du Documentaire at the BPI at the Center Pompidou.
  • 11 programs, 70 films and 60,000 viewers per year for the Escales program on the TikTok platform.
  • More than 700 screenings organized each year by the 70 members of the La Cinémathèque du Documentaire network.
  • 55,000 films, 32,000 authors, 6,900 composers, 630 production companies, 840 festivals consulted by 180,000 visitors/month on the platform
  • Scam has 32,680 audiovisual authors with 124,000 works declared in 2021.
  • €800,000 in writing assistance for the Draft of a Dream audiovisual grant from Scam.
  • Scam’s repertoire includes 1.4 million audiovisual works.
  • The documentary is at the heart of Procirep’s creative aid actions in audiovisual matters, which mobilizes more than 60% of the Television Commission’s budget, with several types of annual aid: €1.1 million in aid to the development of creative documentary project, which each year benefits approximately 260 projects and more than 110 companies. €4,000 grant on average. €3 million in aid for the production of TV documentaries allocated annually to nearly 400 production works and more than 200 different companies. €7,000 grant on average.
  • Procirep aid represents on average 3 to 4% of the production budgets of supported works (and can reach up to 10%)…

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