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Studies & Market Reports

14 November 2018 à 14:46

The export of French short films in 2017

Unifrance publishes its annual report on the commercial distribution abroad of French short films.

The analysis of the results* of French short films in the international market reveals a total sales revenue of  €543,392, a drop of 8.6** points compared with that generated in 2016. The number of sales, (1,435) and titles (656) follows the traditional trend, being a constant progression, which reached respectively +4.8%** (+16.2% of rentals) and +6.5% in 2017. All of this influences the average price per transaction evaluated at €379 for the period studied, 13.7% lower than the previous year (€439). The drop in average price is even more glaring if we recall that in 2008 it reached €871, the highest figure recorded since UniFrance started producing this report. The increase in rental volume, the reduction in investments by buyers (television channels in particular), and the diversification of the types of rights transferred (such as license fees for VOD rights) feature among the main factors explaining this decrease.

In 2017, 445 different foreign buyers acquired the rights to 656 French shorts. Although they only account for 7% of the sample, television groups contributed half of the annual sales revenues and 23.6% of sales. In 2017, their investments diminished by 15.2% whereas 8.6% more transactions were recorded: sales and and buy-back operations by television groups affected the availability and division of resources, as well as content choice. International festivals and associations represented 64.1% of buyers and were behind 668 sales (+15.8% compared to 2016), of which 94% print rentals, and 10.8% accumulated revenues, a noticeable increase (+3.4%). Mainly interested in animation, they are present across the 5 continents and represent nearly all the distributors and exhibitors of French shorts in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Oceania. Thanks to the inclusion of VOD license fees, the VOD platforms' share has seen a spectacular increase, placing them in 3rd position per total revenues share. The second key factor relates to the arrival of the Chinese company Jia Screen on the VOD market (2% of annual total sales revenues).

Western Europe remains the leading zone per investments, even though these have been progressively reducing since 2015. Jia Screen's arrival has allowed Asia to maintain its market share, which has remained practically the same despite a slight decrease in acquistions by Pacific Voice Inc., which nevertheless remains the leading buyer of short films abroad. The division of sales revenues by country again puts Japan in the lead and reveals strong progress in the United States (notably thanks to the inclusion of VOD license fees, because the main platforms are based in the country) and the United Kingdom (1st in terms of number of sales, a strong increase in investments by Shorts International). The actions of French short film distributors remain vital as they represent 88.1% of the titles, 72.5% of the revenues, and 74.6% of the sales.

All data can be found in the attached report "French Short Film Exports in 2017" (available in French only).

* This report focuses uniquely on the objective sales results, title by title, declared by each of the production and distribution companies that supplied their figures. Taking into account the significant sales volume that these represent and their indispensible aspect for many producers, our study has included, since 2010, rentals to festivals and promotional sales to institutional actors abroad, and, since 2018, VOD license fees and the first virtual reality (VR) results in the international arena. Sales to ARTE, Canal+ Afrique, and TV5 Monde are also recorded and integrated into the results. The latter television channels of course concern sales to buyers residing in France, but nevertheless remain an important vector for the distribution and exhibition of short films outside France.

** The evolution is calculated by excluding VOD royalties because they were not included before 2017.


Author : Andrea Sponchiado

Latest update : 29 November 2018 à 14:46 CET


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Related companies (2)


Pacific Voice Inc.

Activities external to film production :  Buyer (short films), Distributor (short film)



Activities :  Executive Producer

Activities external to film production :  Cultural/professional organization

Recent filmography : Jean-Paul Belmondo, 4 X D

Geographic areas (5)