French film industryprofessionals responded favorably on Wednesday to a request made by cultureminister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres calling for a dialogue on rules surroundingthe country's film subsidy system.

On Tuesday, Donnedieu de Vabresasked Catherine Colonna, president of French film body the CNC, to opendiscussions with industry groups with the aim of allowing non-Europeanfinancing for French films and for non-Europeans to access state funds.

Authors', directors',producers' association ARP, the writers' guild SACD and directors' organizationSRF together signed a letter to the minister thanking him for his quickreaction.

The reaction comes days afterJean-Pierre Jeunet's A Very Long Engagement was refused French status. AFrench court ruled that the company behind the film, 2003 Productions, wascontrolled by Warner Bros. in the US.

"It seems to us that it wouldbe in the general interest to be able to open more widely our support accountsto non-Europeans," said the three groups. They also suggested conditions underwhich this should be made possible: "Films should be shot in the Frenchlanguage, the amount of aid attributed to companies controlled by non-Europeancapital should be limited and the production authorization could be tied to obligationswith regard to independent production."