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France’s new Culture Minister Filippetti hits Cannes

France’s new Culture and Communication Minister Aurélie Filippetti was in Cannes on Tuesday for her first big public address since being appointed last week by the country’s new socialist president François Hollande.

“I’m here as a politician but also as a cinephile,” said Filippetti, speaking at the French National Cinema Centre’s traditional Cannes presentation.

Speaking to a packed conference attended by some 500 French film professionals, the new minister laid out her key policy objectives.

They included an overhaul of France’s Hadopi piracy rules and new measures to adapt French cinema and its virtuous film-financing model to the digital age such as possible tweaks to the country’s strict media chronology laws.

“Respect for authors rights and the remuneration of creativity are fundamental for me,” said Filippetti. “Of course, adaptations are necessary and the Internet has its positive sides but any changes need to take place within a regulated framework.

Under piracy rules implemented during President Nicolas Sarkozy’s rule, individuals caught downloading films and music illegally could have their Internet access removed. Hollande has promised to modify the law.

Filippetti said she would launch a consultation with the traditional film world as well as the new digital operators as part of an update of France’s Cultural Exception laws, dubbed Act II of the Cultural Exception.

The Minister also revealed she has met with the European Commission’s Culture Commissioner Androulla Vassilou to discuss recently announced EC plans to de-territorialise state film aids. 

She said an over-zealous application of European competition laws to cultural aids would “weaken” France’s successful film fund eco-system. 

The 38-year-old minister, who was in charge of the cultural portfolio for President François Hollande’s presidential campaign, was previously the president of Marseille’s FID international film festival alongside being a writer and academic.

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