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46th edition
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Speech by the Collectif des précaires des festivals de cinéma at the Awards Ceremony

18 December 2023
Sous les écrans la dèche ©Margaux Martins

At the Awards Ceremony for the 45th edition of the Festival des 3 Continents, held on 3 December at Stereolux, the Collectif des précaires des festivals de cinéma took the floor to denounce the unemployment insurance reforms that are making their working conditions even more precarious, and to call for protection tailored to the specific nature of their jobs.

Transcription of the speech


Good evening,

During the last 10 days, we have been very happy to receive you at the Festival des 3 Continents. Very happy, as in each edition, to facilitate an event that allows the discovery of movies and a space to meet artists from all over the world.

We, meaning all the workers around a Film Festival, projectionists, programmers and heads of film office, stage managers, subtitlers, volunteers coordinator, ticket office manager, responsibles of guest office, communication and partnership managers.

We, audience managers and teams, who receive thousands of children, middle and high-school students, hoping to instill the taste for cinema in them.

You may have come across some of us wearing badges that read in French “Sous les écrans la dèche”, in essence, “Broke under the screens!” I would like to take two minutes of your time to tell you the reality behind the slogan.

In support of permanent teams, we welcome you in Nantes, but also in the festivals of Belfort, Paris, La Rochelle, Montpellier or Lussas, and more. 

In France, there are more than one hundred and fifty film festivals per year.

Few countries in the world can say the same, and we know that you value the privilege that such a diverse offer represents.

While many of us joined the industry out of passion or conviction, we are first and foremost skilled professionals, immediately operational and geographically mobile. Yet today, our professions are under threat.

From one festival to the next, we alternate between fixed-term contracts, short-term contracts, self-employment, freelance work, royalties…

Contracts that provide no job security and do not reflect the inherently intermittent nature of our work.

From one festival to another, we also experience periods of inactivity, as it is rare for contracts to align as well as the planets. In this particular case, the ongoing unemployment insurance reform that has been in effect for the past two years is at the heart of our concerns, because it is no longer possible to alternate short contracts and periods of unemployment.

Because between two festivals, in order to hope for an allowance above the poverty line, one must now justify 6 months of back-to-back contracts.

For all these reasons, it is becoming difficult, if not impossible, to make a living from our professions nowadays and it is then the proper existence of the film festivals that is under threat.

Last year, the mobilization was massive against the pension reform. This year, the performing arts and audiovisual industries are mobilizing against the reform on unemployment benefits, which is a major threat for all workers.

The key question being asked has to do with the importance of culture in our society : So, to all of you who love our Festivals, YOUR festivals, this ongoing fight is also yours, and you are all welcome to support it. 

Thank you for your attention.

More info on the Collectif website

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