Film prod'n down in France, up in Italy

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A total of 203 films, budgeted at €1.2 billion ($1.6 billion), were made in France in 2006, a decrease from 2005's 240 productions, according to figures released by the Center National de la Cinematographie.

Conversely, Italy experienced a significant year-to-year uptick of nearly 23% in the number of productions and total expenditure. A total of 116 films were made in Italy in 2006 at a cost of €187.5 million ($243.8 million), Italy's national film industry association reported Friday.

"The most encouraging figure is that a total of €35 million ($45.5 million) more was invested in filming in Italy in 2006 than in 2005," ANICA president Carlo Bernaschi said in a statement. "But in order to have continued growth, steps need to be taken to develop infrastructure and to increase the overall popularity of Italian films. That is the next challenge."

Wholly French productions accounted for 63% of the total in that country, with 128 movies made in 2006 compared with 126 (52% of total production) in 2005. However, there were only 75 international co-productions, 39 fewer than in 2005.

French or majority-French films accounted for 164 of those produced, compared with 187 in 2005, for a total spend of €865 million ($1.1 billion), down from €933.7 million in 2005. Majority-foreign co-productions accounted for €283.4 million ($366.7 million) and foreign investment in French-initiated co-productions came to €87.8 million ($113.6 million).

Rebecca Leffler reported from Paris. Eric Lyman reported from Rome.
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