French doc producers attending this month’s MIPCOM (October 10 to 14) in Cannes, France, have reason to feel hopeful about inking copro deals.
According to figures released by the Paris-based umbrella organization TV France International, French doc producers had a good year in 2002 – especially those involved with big-budget international copros. Foreign investment in doc copros nearly doubled to 23.9 million euro (US$27 million) in 2002 from 12.2 million euro ($13.7 million) in 2001. In terms of presales, there was a modest increase to 7.4 million euro ($8.4 million) from 6 million euro ($6.9 million). Sales of completed docs, however, fell to 23.5 million euro ($26.5 million) from 28 million euro ($31.6 million). Other sectors of the production industry didn’t do as well; revenue from French TV sales, copros and presales overall fell 32% in 2002 to 230 million euro ($260 million) from 335 million euro ($378 million).
However, there are signs of a general turnaround. ‘Over half our companies at Le Rendez- Vous [TVFI's Saint Tropez market, September 9 to 11] said they did more business than last year,’ says TVFI executive director Mathieu Béjot. He adds, ‘The mood – still to be confirmed at MIPCOM – is less gloomy than it was a few months ago.’
Docs are again expected to lead the charge. At Le Rendez-Vous, the most widely screened film was The Junction (Paris’s Point du Jour and New York’s At Media).