In the ongoing battle between the local film industry and 2003Productions, some producers and France's film board, the CNC, are starting tofeel the pinch.

On Friday, the Administrative Court of Paris announced it would cancelthe approval of eligibility for state funds given by the CNC to producers ofJosiane Balasko's latest film, L'Ex Femme De Ma Vie. L'Ex Femme De Ma Vie is associate producedby 2003 Productions.

2003 Productions was founded by Warner Bros. France chairman FrancisBoespflug and recently produced Jean-Pierre Jeunet's A Very Long Engagement.France's Independent Producers' Association and the Independent Producers'Union have accused 2003 Productions of being controlled by US major WarnerBros. rather than being an independent company.

The groups are seeking the revocation of 2003 Productions' status as anindependent French company and to reverse the Jeunet film's ability to begin asupport account at the CNC which would give the company access to a percentageof box-office, TV and video sales of A Very Long Engagement to funnelinto future production.

Thus far, a government commission has found in favour of the claimantsand a final decision is likely later this week.

In the case of the Balasko film, co-producers Josy Film, ICE3 and France2 Cinema have all seen their CNC stamp of approval overturned by theAdministrative Court which means that they will not be able to funnel theirpercentage of sales into support accounts.

Warner Bros. France, which is also a co-producer, did not ask for Frenchstatus. However, associate producer 2003 Productions did ask for the status butits application dossier was not complete and thus did not receive the go-aheadfrom the CNC. The CNC says it is still waiting for certain elements at whichtime it will re-examine the situation.

2003 Productions' partners seem to be suffering by association. Thecourt appears to ruled that because the controversial 2003 Productions isinvolved in the Balasko film, and because the CNC did not give that companyapproval for eligibility for state funding, none of the other co-producersinvolved should be eligible either.

However, the CNC has made it clear that the situation - where oneco-producer receives approval and another does not - is not unusual since thebody gives its OK to individual companies which meet CNC criteria and not filmsor groups of producers.

In a press release the CNC said, "The CNC never gives global approval toa group of co-producers, contrary to the belief of the Administrative Courtwhich based its judgment primarily on this notion."

The CNC has reserved the right to an appeal.