Jobs in French film biz up in '08

Investments dropped 26% in '09, but region is optimistic

PARIS -- Despite the global financial crisis, employment rates in the French film biz in the Ile-de-France region increased in 2008 according to a survey from Audiens and the Ile de France Film Commission.

In 2008, 1,500 new jobs were created in the region encompassing Paris and its environs. Even before the new tax credit for foreign production was passed last year, the region still managed to attract major Hollywood productions, including "GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra," "Cheri" and "Julie & Julia," which all created jobs for French film industry workers.

The region boasted 20,000 permanent jobs plus 122,000 part-time jobs, 30,000 of which were regularly paid positions. The IDF region put more than 140,000 people to work in 2008.

With the new tax credit in place, the IDF region estimates that employment rates will have risen even more in 2009 once those official figures are calculated.

Investment in French feature films dropped 26% in 2009, but the IDF region remains optimistic and is hoping that the foreign titles shot in the region thanks to the new tax credit in 2009 will have compensated for the fall in investment in national fare.

The IDF region continued to support its national cinema in 2009, however, with funding provided for several titles, including recent hits "The Roundup," "Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life," and "L'Immortel" plus upcoming releases Fabien Onteniente's comedy "Camping 2," Guillaume Canet's "Les Petits Mouchoirs" and Bertrand Tavernier's "The Princess of Montpensier."