French government to set up temporary compensation fund for film shoots

Fund is part of larger government plan to support culture sector as lockdown eases.

By Melanie Goodfellow 6 May 2020

French government to set up temporary compensation fund for film shoots
Emmanuel Macron

French president Emmanuel Macron has announced the creation of a temporary compensation fund aimed mainly at cinema shoots which were delayed or cut short due to the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting French national lockdown which began on March 17.

Macron revealed the initiative in a wide-ranging televised address on Wednesday (May 6), detailing what his government is doing to support France’s cultural sector.

He added, however, that it would not be possible for big shoots to start up again at least until the end of May. 

Macron’s address followed a morning-long meeting with around a dozen representatives of France’s culture sector and comes amid growing disquiet from its professionals over their future as cinemas, theatres and sets remain out of bounds.

The sector has been hit hard by the lockdown, which has forced the closure of cinemas, theatres, and museums as well as the cancellation of a number of big cultural events, such as the Cannes Film Festival in May and Festival d’Avignon performing arts festival which usually takes place in July.

The country’s lockdown is due to start easing on May 11 but there is still no indication on when cinemas and other cultural and entertainment venues will be able to start opening up again. 

Under measures announced last week, libraries and small museums will be able to start reopening next week. 

Speaking to journalists after Macron’s address, culture minister Franck Riester said that the government would be calling on insurance companies to help co-finance the fund.

In other measures, Macron said emergency income support measures for cultural sector professionals who are unable to work due to the lockdown would remain in place until August 2021.

He revealed that the government was also planning a massive programme of cultural initiatives involving young performers and creators under the age of 30 aimed at connecting less privileged parts of French society with culture.

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