While the United States still produces the greatest number of films in the world annually (as well as those that make the biggest bucks), France has, against all odds, retained a relationship with cinema that surpasses nearly everywhere else in the world. Currently, the biggest film industry event of the year is happening in Cannes, France.
While a lot of that love for cinema is cultural, it is also aided enormously by French law. The CNC, the government organization that supports the creation and distribution of French films, takes more than 10% of all box office sales (including non-French film ticket sales) and puts the money back into supporting French film. In 2017, this “honeypot” came to about 707€ million, which the organization used to finance French films, build movie theaters, and do other things to ensure that France maintains its position as a world leader of film.
“There’s a lot at stake on the silver screen, it’s much more than just cinema,” says French film director Frédéric Sojcher. “There’s an economic, political, and cultural aspect. It’s all three at the same time. That’s why the movie world is much more than just about film. There’s a hidden cinema war going on.”
And as long as that war goes on, it seems, the French are ready and willing to rally the troops.