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Would France be better off without Hollywood films?

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France says ‘non’ to Hollywood

After a tough session of negotiations between the EU and the US, France has managed to exclude the film industry from trade agreements barring Hollywood films from getting any increased market share but is this a good thing?

Earlier in the week France threatened to use its veto if the trade talks did not exclude the “cultural exception”. As the E.U currently allows countries to implement measures to protect local media industries, the EU-US trade agreement could have altered the game, but not anymore.

More than 7000 European filmmakers ahead of the talks had signed a petition asking for the cultural exception to remain. France has succeeded in bringing this point into the negotiations, but how will Hollywood respond to this?

We saw earlier in May a heavy Hollywood presence at the Cannes Film Festival. Steven Spielberg was the head of the Jury, and quite a few films in the selection were produced by prominent American filmmakers and producers and this has been the case for many years. The Cannes Film Festival is France’s largest media event yet Hollywood is at the forefront of its image and marketing strategy.

Now that the EU-US talks can resume without the possibility of Hollywood being able to expand further in the French market, is France better, or worse off?

On one side of the argument, local film technicians will be delighted that their government has supported their creativity, and local film production. However a counter-argument to this would be, if there is a demand for Hollywood films, why put restrictions on them? Could private investment employ the very same people making Hollywood productions in France? Just look at the investment from Hollywood going into London right now.

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