French Producers Strongly Contest Industry Contract To Set Salary Minimums For Crews

About 1,600 French film business heavyweights have signed a petition against a proposed regulation that would set pay and personnel minimums for crews on any movies produced in the country. The legislation is due to be signed by the labor minister next month and put into effect in July. But the increasingly heated concern is that by setting a bar for salaries, crew costs could rise dramatically and endanger about a quarter of films produced per year. Technicians unions and French majors Gaumont, Pathé, UGC and MK2, are in favor. Among the petition’s signatories against are Luc Besson, Guillaume Canet, Vincent Cassell, Robert Benmussa, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Costa Gavras, Isabelle Huppert, Pierre-Ange Le Pogam, Patrice Leconte, Vincent Maraval, François Ozon and Amour producer Margaret Menegoz. Their belief is that such films as 2011’s 13-time César nominee Polisse would not have been made under the proposal. Nor would Leos Carax’s Cannes sensation Holy Motors which was only able to make its budget by having the crew accept 20% below their normal salaries in exchange for participation. The producers have penned their own collective agreement and the government said just yesterday that it has appointed a mediator to try and get the two sides talking.

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