Dominique Buttont remained at the helm of the committee, despite being accused of sexual assault
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Dominique Buttont remained at the helm of the committee, despite being accused of sexual assault

French producer and CNC director Dominique Boutont arrives at a state dinner marking the visit of the President of the United Arab Emirates, at the Grand Trianon estate, near the Palace of Versailles, southwest of Paris, on July 18, 2022.

Despite the challenges, Dominique Boutont was reappointed, Wednesday, July 20, as head of the National Center for the Motion Picture and Film (CNC). A decision taken by the Council of Ministers despite a record of convictions by some directors and accusations of sexual assault.

On April 25, the Public Prosecution Office in Nanterre requested that Mr. Boutont be referred to the criminal court on charges of sexually assaulting Judson, with whom he has no family ties. In October 2020, a young man in his twenties filed a complaint, about facts dating back to August 2020, while on vacation in Greece. An indictment ensued in February 2021. According to his attorney, Dominique Boutont, 52, known as a film producer, ‘Strongly against all facts’.

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During an interview in Parisian And last June, the Minister of Culture, Rima Abdel-Malik, launched a campaign to renew it: He is accused, not convicted. The presumption of innocence prevails. » There is no case law requiring the withdrawal or resignation of a civil servant under investigation. But the accusations weigh on Dominique Boutont, in an already tense context after Solidarity Minister Damien Abad, the Minister of Solidarity, did not renew the cabinet reshuffle after legislation, which was targeted by an investigation after an attempted rape complaint.

Criticism of “overtly liberal” policy

In addition, several directors, including Jacques Audiard and Pierre Salvadori, who are united within the Society of Film Directors (SRF), have recently criticized this policy. “Overtly liberal and often short-lived” CNC head.

Three years ago, the appointment of this donor to Emmanuel Macron’s election campaign was already poorly done in an environment anxious to see the imposition of a logic based on profitability, jeopardizing authors’ cinema. The Minister of Culture stepped up to defend her record: “He is the CNC head who faced the crisis and who was, moreover, a pioneer in the fight against sexual and gender-based violence.”

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Following the wave of #metoo, CNC launched a training in October 2020 to prevent sexual violence, targeting employers in the film, audiovisual and video game industries (producers, international sellers, distributors and exhibitors). 1 . agoVerse January 2021, the assignment and payment of all CNC aids is subject to beneficiaries’ compliance with sexual harassment prevention obligations, such as continuing this training or assigning a mandatory harassment reference to structures of over 250 employees.

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Facing a drop in attendance

Dominique Boutont, who started his career in insurance, had to fight hard for a sector hard hit by the restrictions imposed during the pandemic, in particular the closure of cinemas and movie theaters. In addition to the state aid granted to all French companies (for partial unemployment, for example), cinema operators have benefited since the beginning of the health crisis from a windfall of 221 million euros, producers, from 38 million euros. 53 million euros.

Many challenges await Dominique Botton. First of all, to restore cinema presence in the context of declining purchasing power, while the number of spectators has not fully returned to pre-pandemic levels. According to the latest figures from CNC, French cinemas, one of the world’s densest networks, sold 72.95 million tickets in the first six months of the year, down 30.6% in attendance, compared to the first half of 2019, a record year.

A glimmer of hope: in June, thanks to the film festival and its €4-for-all tickets, Darkrooms achieved 10.86 million admissions, a 13% decrease compared to the same month in 2019. Facing fierce competition from US platforms, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney +.

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The world with AFP

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