France's culture minister Jean-Jacques Aillagon has called for a series of measures to further support French cinema and to encourage films to shoot within the country.
During a ministerial meeting on Wednesday, Aillagon stated it is imperative to "diversify and perpetuate" film financing in France in order to boost the local industry and attract more overseas productions.
Noting the proposed tax on DVD and video sales, Aillagon said the move would amount to an extra Euros 30m-40m ($33.5m- $44.7m) per year for the industry if the measure, which will be voted on in July, is passed.
The Culture minister also proposed measures that would see local collectives provide cinema aid via a fund set up in conjunction with the state, along with a new system of incentives that would encourage foreign productions to shoot in the country.
During the meeting, Aillagon referred to other European countries like Germany and the UK which provide fiscal incentives to productions that shoot within their borders or use local talent. The idea behind it, he said, was to assure that there is less 'runaway production.'
Should such a move be approved it would be welcome news in France and especially among national and local commissions which have fought to bring foreign films to France despite a lack of tax and other fiscal incentives.
Among other possible measures cited was a restructuring of the Soficas, the doubling of development aid to Euros 3m ($3.5m), the creation of a production "observatory" and an elaboration of rules of good conduct in terms of theatrical distribution.
Aillagon also suggested technical and post-production outfits should be exempt from professional taxes. Post-production facilities in France, while among the best in the world have been hit hard by a downturn in the market in recent months.
On Monday, French president Jacques Chirac met with the principal cast and crew of all French films in the official Cannes selection and noted his "determination and that of the government to support and defend French cinema."