We, independent film press publishers, would like to inform you of the financial and economic emergency in which we find ourselves. During the health crisis, due to the Covid-19 virus, whether cinemas were open or closed, busy or deserted, subject or not to a health or vaccination pass, we continued to publish despite changes in release dates or drastic reductions in copies of films. We continued to inform, chronicle, interview, alert, encourage our readers to see, review, rent or buy. We encouraged them not to forget the importance of culture in general, of cinema in particular, in particular by developing new online media while maintaining our printed activity. This activity, we have maintained it despite the closure by decree of the points of sale during the confinements, including the most visited ones such as those at stations and airports, places of passage where for a very long time no one has passed. Today we are witnesses and victims of the permanent closure of many kiosks, press houses and bookstores. We continued to publish at a loss because of the stoppage of activity of the distributors who are among our advertisers. Today, we are subject to an advertising crisis, a direct consequence of a disastrous economic situation which is not about to improve… We are suffering collateral damage from the alarming abandonment of cinemas by spectators. And as a coup de grace, the shortages due to the Covid but also to the war in Ukraine – radically increase the price of paper. These increases are passed on by our French printers who also charge us the rising energy prices for manufacturing and delivery. In six months, the costs of printing and transporting a copy have increased by at least 20% and can now reach nearly 50%. We are under increasing pressure to lower the quality of our paper and reduce the pagination of our titles. Some of us are already deploring a qualitative deterioration of their publication, which they carry at arm’s length in the face of press groups. Still others are now thinking of printing abroad – when French printing was an important ethical and political choice – as this endangers the remuneration and employment of their employees. We offer text, but we also offer images. We do not want to print on papers that do not honor the filmmakers and their technicians. We want to continue to showcase their work. We do not want to cut drastically in our pagination but wish to always offer more space to the most fragile releases, to the least known personalities. We don’t want to have to sort our topics by marketability. We do not want to reach the critical stage where our editorial would be a slave to financial agreements. We are independent publishers and wish to remain so. It also seems important to us that the written cinema press be considered at its fair value. Today, compared to aid for video creation on the internet from the CNC, the future of the cinema press does not seem to worry the authorities. When this aid for video creation of several hundred thousand euros per commission (and five commissions per year) benefits – quite rightly and we do not wish to devalue this production – a few creators, a handful of production companies, few employees and the American company Youtube, the cinema written press hires, produces and broadcasts in France, creating VAT and turnover for printers, distributors, kiosks, bookstores… The aid envelope annual film review – €64,000 in 2021 for 13 titles – does not reflect this reality. We are therefore asking you for emergency aid for printing until the increase in the price of paper stops, as well as an increase in the annual aid for the cinema press in order to perpetuate the economy of our titles in the face of at prices that won’t drop anytime soon. The survival and freedom of the independent cultural press are at stake.
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