French doc copros a hot ticket

French doc producers attending this month's mipcom (October 10 to 14) in Cannes, France, have reason to feel hopeful about inking copro deals.
October 1, 2003

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).

About The Author
Andrew Tracy joined Realscreen as associate editor in 2021, following 17 years as managing editor of the award-winning international film magazine Cinema Scope. From 2010 to 2020 he also held the position of senior editor at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he oversaw the flagship publication for the organization’s year-round Cinematheque programming and edited its first original monograph in a decade, Steve Gravestock’s A History of Icelandic Film. He was a scriptwriter and consultant on the first season of the Vice TV series The Vice Guide to Film, and his writing and reporting have been featured in such outlets as Cinema Scope, Reverse Shot, Sight & Sound, Cineaste, Film Comment, MUBI Notebook, POV, and Montage.