The extension of the health pass in cultural places such as cinemas continues to arouse strong reactions. Directors, distributors and producers react to this measure which they consider inappropriate and destructive.
After Emmanuel Macron’s announcements on July 12 concerning the introduction of the health pass, cinema attendance fell drastically.
In force since July 21, this new restrictive measure has sparked controversy and a virulent reaction from directors, distributors and producers. In the columns of Release, the latter express their deep concerns after the collapse of attendance by nearly 70%.
This is all the more damaging as spectators began to return en masse to theaters after more than 300 days of closure. As an example, Fast and Furious 9 saw its admissions drop by 80% in one week.
Even if the government promises aid to compensate for the losses linked to the introduction of the health pass, some feature films seem to have been sacrificed on this famous July 21.
Thus, the event film by Arthur Harari, Onoda, sensation of the last Cannes Film Festival, released that day, suffered the consequences of the health pass.
“There is an obvious form of bad luck. The day my film is released is the day we lose 70% of the average attendance. It is bound to be stunned. Once we said it was violent, it must see that it falls on everyone’s head, equally – even if no one is quite even in the distribution “, confides the filmmaker, very bitter.
“What I have to say is external to the experience of my film, it is the absurdity of this sanitary pass in the cinemas. It is not proven that these are places of clusters: if there There is one place where it could not have been done in my eyes is this one. It is extremely undemocratic brutality, the way it was done. It corresponds to the brutality of this regime, which makes people angry. I have no lessons to teach the government but I think that’s bullshit “, denounces the director.
Why differentiate us from other gathering places? We were murdered, atomized.
For Michel Saint-Jean from Diaphana, distributor of Titanium, this decision to introduce the health pass without any prior negotiation from July 21 is a total injustice. “Why this disfavourable treatment? Why differentiate us from other gathering places? We were murdered, atomized”, he gets carried away.
“It is incomprehensible and of a contempt, of an indifference that I cannot explain to myself with regard to cinema and culture in general. For Titane by Julia Ducournau, which we have released in 200 copies, the surprise effect of the palm slows down the drop in attendance but it remains a disaster nonetheless because it is a film aimed at a young audience.
However, it is precisely the part of the population that is not the most vaccinated and which, as we see at the box office last Wednesday, is no longer there after the film tripled its admissions the next day. of the palm. We were in the energy of a quirky Cannes festival, Thierry Frémaux fought for that to happen, that the films remake the event, and the decision falls without a start of consultation, without leaving us at least a window of opportunity. ‘three week exploitation that would have allowed us to turn around, and everything is shattered “, protests the producer, questioned by Liberation.
For the latter, we must now fear new lags, until the situation clears up. Not so easy, however: “I also have Drive My Car by Ryusuke Hamaguchi which is scheduled for August 18. Spontaneously I would have postponed it but it is too late, the space purchases, the press articles, the mentions in the programs of the art rooms and try, everything is launched so we maintain but this way of changing the rules on sight, without dialogue or explanation, is terrifying “, confides Michel Saint-Jean.
What is brutal for all of us is that our priority is to find the public.
Régine Vial, distributor of Bergman Island and Tom Medina via Les Films du Losange, also denounces the violence of the government’s decision. “What is brutal for all of us is that our priority is to find the audience. All my time and energy, the path that I try to draw, is to make people want to see movies, find a quality of exchange, that the directors go to meet the spectators.
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