Employment in film, television and advertising production in the Paris region jumped a record 8% in 2011 but dipped in 2012, according to an Ile de France Film Commission report released on Monday.

“After the crisis of 2008, we’ve had three years of consolidation with a record jump in jobs in 2011,” said commission director Olivier-René Veillon.

The annual report compiled in cooperation with Audiens — a compulsory mutual welfare fund aimed at people working in the cultural, media and communications sector — is based on contributions data.

The commission uses the Audiens data to gauge the overall health of the production sector in the Ile de France region.

Monday’s report focused on 2011 but also gave preliminary figures for 2012.

2011 record year

According to the Audiens statistics, jobs in cinema, television and advertising production jumped a record 8% to some 19,089 permanent jobs and 120,951 freelance workers in 2011, against 17,735 and 109,895 in 2010.

Veillon said the rise in production jobs in 2011 was due in large part to international productions coming to France to shoot or use the post-production facilities.

He noted, however, that fewer US productions visited in 2011. The most notable was Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder, which passed through Paris but spent most of its time at the Mont Saint Michel in Normandy. 

Only a handful of productions spent enough in the region to qualify for the Tax Rebate for International Productions (TRIP) which requires a minimum of €1m spend.  Films tapping into the mechanism included Sandra Nettlebeck’s Mister Morgan’s Last Love and Lone Scherfig’s One Day.

“The number of US productions might have fallen but the number of productions from elsewhere in the world marked a sharp rise – especially from Asia and in particular China where the film industry is expanding fast,” said Veillon.

Asian productions included Jackie Chan’s Chinese Zodiac, prime-time series Our French Years from by Chinese broadcaster CCTV1 and Taiwanese Tom Lin’s fantasy drama Starry, Starry Night.

Three Indian films visited the capital and surrounding region: Kabir Sai’s Chemistry, Anu Menon’s Paris New York and Karunakarau’s Edukante Premanta.

European productions shooting in the region included Italian Carlo Verdone’s A Flat for Three (In Paradiso) and Jaime Rosales’ Dream and Silence.

One of the biggest success stories in the region’s cinema industry, said Veillon, was post-production house Mac Gruff.

“Universal has chosen Mac Gruff to produce its 3D films. France is the only country in the world where feature-length Hollywood animation films for international consumption are made in their entirety,” said Veillon.

Gloomy preliminary figures

Preliminary figures for 2012, meanwhile, painted a gloomier picture for jobs in television, cinema and advertising production.

According to the data, jobs fells by 1% in 2012 but remained above 2010 levels.

Job losses were focused in the freelance sector with a 3% drop in freelance jobs overall but after an 18% over the previous two years. Contributions linked to permanent jobs rose by +0.5%

Veillon said one issue for the local production scene was the delocalisation of French features to Belgium, enticed by the investment provided through the neighbouring country’s €600m tax shelter scheme.

‘”There is a fiscal war being waged by Belgium which has decided to boost its activities and jobs on the back of the French film industry,” said Veillon.  “In 2011, some 45 French films delocalised to Belgium and some 60 in 2012…

“A frank discussion with Belgium about this policy would be wecome.”