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French animation faces new challenges

PARIS: The new biennial survey published by France's animation producers association, SPFA, says the success of Gallic animated production is uncertain, as the sector's dynamism is impaired by structural and financial weakness. Still, within the French TV industry, the sector is...
August 1, 1999

PARIS: The new biennial survey published by France’s animation producers association, SPFA, says the success of Gallic animated production is uncertain, as the sector’s dynamism is impaired by structural and financial weakness. Still, within the French TV industry, the sector is flourishing, as well as being the top export genre. New markets, such as teen and young adult programs, along with feature film production, are emerging. Last year 375 animated hours were produced in France. Moreover, French animated series such as Space Goofs, Enigma and Spirou have proven in both French and international markets that they could garner good ratings.

Since 1996, French animation producers have taken a 39% share of the French/national TV market as the primary program suppliers (followed by the U.S.) of French networks whose youth schedules now air 4,000 animated hours each year. However, companies are still weakened by chronic deficit-financing. This lack of capitalization is highly prejudicial when rights are concerned and French producers have been pushed into more minority co-productions last year. The survey points out that French animation companies will only grow if they find the financial tools to start projects while securing TV and video rights. The report is advocating merchandising activity and diversification into the movie, video game and Internet businesses.

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