According to a new study by France's National Film Commission, runawayproduction has been largely stemmed in France thanks to new initiatives put inplace by public bodies.

The study notes that from 1998 to 2003, the number of shooting weeksspent outside France had practically doubled from 220 to 424. In 2004, however,that figure dropped back down to 288.

While individual film commissions (there are more than 30 throughoutFrance) have been more active in attracting producers, new incentives put inplace by the culture minister and film body the CNC are also largelyresponsible.

The '1 euro for 2' plan, which sees the CNC give back one euro for everytwo invested by the different regions, led regional funds to reach Euros 21.2mnin 2004.

Also new in 2004 was the tax credit scheme or 'credit d'impot' whichallows French films to write off up to 20% of below the line costs if certainrequirements are met including shooting within the country. Of the 167 films which were approved by theCNC in 2004, 111 benefited from the tax credit.

In terms of popularity, Paris and its environs (the Ile de France region)are still at the top with 52% of local shooting weeks taking place in thearea. Films spent 23% of their shootingweeks in other regions throughout France with PACA - Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur- and Rhone Alpes regions taking second and third place.

The National Film Commission also took a look at how films with varyingbudgets break down in terms of location choices. The 140 films studied by theCommission had an average budget of Euros 5.3mn. The trend showed that smallbudget films tend to shoot outside the Ile de France while mid range budgetfilms shoot within that region and big budget films tended to shoot abroad.

Of the 140 films, 35 were foreign co-productions. Another trend evidentfrom the study is that foreign co-productions tended to shoot outside France in2004, though on a par with 2003. This is likely down to certain bi-lateralagreements and tax breaks available in other territories. In total 57% offoreign co-productions shot abroad while 26% shot in the Ile de France and 7%shot in regional areas.

Among the high profile films to shoot for an extended periodof time in France in 2004 are Radu Milhaileanu's Live And Become,Oscar entry Merry Christmas, Eric Valli's The Trail, DominikMoll's Lemming and Regis Wargnier's Man To Man.

The Commission also took a look at how the country benefitsfinancially from this local spend. Itis estimated that a film with a budget of between Euros 1m and 4m can reachregional spend of Euros 200,000 to 400,000 while that figure for a film betweenEuros 5mn and 10mn is closer to Euros 500,000 to 800,000 per film.