FNCF 2022 Congress

Attendance in 2022 stood at just under 100 million admissions at the end of August, i.e. a drop of around 30% compared to the volumes recorded before the crisis. Is the smallholding located in the same latitudes?
The decrease recorded in small farms is around -25% to -30%, with disparities depending on the region. Marseille and the East of France, for example, experienced declines in attendance of up to -35% or -40%. We are therefore following the national movement.

Observers often point out that the smallest establishments are, as at the start of the crisis, those which resist the best. While the film offer is now very close to the pre-crisis level, how do you explain this?
It is true that small farms resist better than medium and large farms. Today, the drop in attendance is due to two obvious factors, especially for this summer. The weather, which was clearly not on our side, even for the air-conditioned rooms. And the lack of film offerings. Only three titles have really performed well in recent months: Top Gun: Maverick, Minions 2: Once Upon a Time Gru and Ducobu President!. French comedies are shunned by our viewers. Which is completely understandable by the fact that the quality is not there. French production must therefore focus on the quality of its scenarios. Some French films have hurt other French films because of the bad reviews and scathing reviews on social media they have engendered.

Richard Patry points out, in our columns, the “debt wall” that many operators are facing due to the – necessary – contraction of PGE at the start of the crisis. Is this the case for many members of the branch?
Small farms have obviously contracted many PGEs, and mainly private establishments. Reimbursements in these times of difficult attendance therefore dry us up a little, and put us in a bad way for the realization of certain investment projects.

At the last Congress, the report on small holdings was once again an opportunity to draw attention to access to films. What is the situation today?
She hasn’t evolved. In addition to this attendance crisis, there is a new crisis at the start of the school year: that of energy. We are not going to escape it, the prices of gas and electricity will impact our cash flow and our management. Cinemas at the end of the contract risk seeing their bills multiply up to six times, while those with fixed prices will have a little visibility… A new reflection is therefore needed on our management and our exploitation of films. Should we use titles that achieve few entries with many sessions? Can we afford to organize 10 or 14 screenings for a single film in view of the crisis? Should we not consider more copy sharing in order to offer the right screenings at the right times to our viewers?

This report had also been the occasion, for its rapporteur Sonia Brun, to evoke a wave of “depression” within the teams of the branch’s rooms, an observation that should lead to “a reflection on the attractiveness of our professions, if we want to develop our operations”. A year later, is the situation still the same?
Since the last congress, a commission bringing together the three farms has been set up within the FNCF. It opens the debate on the attractiveness of our professions on how to dust them off and bring them up to date. We are delighted with this joint reflection with medium-sized and large farms, and this working group led by Odile Tarizzo (president of the social issues committee, editor’s note) will soon share its summary. We should also stress the importance of training in sexist and sexual violence, which gives real added value to our professional training, hoping that all the farms will obtain their certificate by the end of the year.

Sonia Brun concluded her report by addressing an increasingly sensitive subject in recent years, that of outdoor screenings, asking in particular for the revision of the “rules for supervising and operating these screenings”, which must “be exclusively put in place for the operators, by the operators”. What about this topic today? Is this one of your priorities?
What remains a priority is the subject of the price of places in image education. The rates have not been changed for over 20 years. We can no longer work with such low locked-in prices, especially with the energy costs that await us. School transport can increase, and we cannot. Consequently, it is now time to open the debate for our cinemas.

FNCF 2022 Congress – Olivier Aubry: In addition to the attendance crisis, there is the energy crisis