Treaties: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guinea, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, U.K., Venezuela
Recent projects: "Faubourg 36" (Czech Republic-France-Germany), "Lorna's Silence" (Belgium-France-Italy-U.K.)

Despite its reputation for being rude to outsiders, France is actually one of the friendliest countries in terms of international co-production treaties. France has co-production deals with 46 countries. In addition, a co-production treaty with Algeria has been signed and is on its way to being ratified, and France is also hoping to sign a co-production deal with China in the coming months.

According to the treaties, foreign films are treated as French films when shot in France and French films are treated as local productions in the co-production territory. Under the agreements, the co-production takes on a double nationality and benefits from the aid systems of both countries.

"In our eyes, there are only advantages. These treaties encourage diversity, the circulation of films, and technical and artistic exchanges," says a spokesperson for the Center National de la Cinematographie (CNC). France tends to partner with Francophone countries Belgium, Switzerland and Canada, whose French-speaking audiences prove profitable for distribution.

The first co-production deals were signed during the 1960s -- Sweden in 1965 followed by Romania in 1966, Russia in 1967, the Czech Republic in 1968 and Brazil in 1969. The treaties are renewed automatically and modernized as both countries see fit. For example, the CNC is currently negotiating a new agreement with Romania and recently inked an updated version of its deal with Belgium.

-- Rebecca Leffler

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