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“In the cinemas, there was no cluster”: the cinema sector questions the usefulness of the curfew

Distributor, producer and operator, Sophie Dulac reacted to Emmanuel Macron’s speech, in which the president announces a curfew from 9 p.m. in the cities most affected by Covid-19.

Emmanuel Macron announced it yesterday: faced with the increase in positive cases of Covid-19, a curfew will be put in place from October 17 in large French metropolises. But this ad considered a bastard measure“according to a distribution manager for a large group, worries the cultural sector, already weakened. The 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. screenings will indeed be canceled and the risk of the rooms closing after All Saints’ Day is real. Distributors and room operators have scheduled a virtual meeting from 6 p.m. to adopt a strategy. Operator and founder of a distribution company, Sophie Dulac fears that the curfew will still keep spectators away from cinemas.

Franceinfo Culture: Yesterday, Emmanuel Macron announced a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. in several areas of France affected by the pandemic. A heavy blow for culture. What was your reaction ?

Sophie Dulac: My reaction is a bit like everyone’s. We are annoyed, not to use a stronger word. In cinemas, there was no cluster. No particular problem with Covid-19. The barrier gestures were respected. I find it a little unfair to be in this amalgamation of curfews. But after this kind of announcement, do we have any other choice than to adapt? If we don’t do that, we stop everything.

More generally, what will this curfew mean for the entire cinema sector?

It will mean more partial unemployment, for all those who no longer have enough work. A lot of energy too, so that the public can once again take over the cinemas. A lot of money spent on communication so that spectators understand that we are doing our best to limit risks. Independent film distributors have so far supported the profession well. They made a lot of sacrifices to bring their films to theaters. Thanks to that, the public still moved. It was even the opportunity to rediscover a program without American films. But I’m afraid that we will have to go further and I hope that other distributors will not once again withdraw their films from theaters.

What will be your parades to continue your activity?

For cinemas, this curfew at 9 p.m. will not be a major disaster. It could have been worse, 8 pm… We will try to bring our sessions forward so that they end at 7 pm, 7:30 pm, and schedule more sessions in the morning. In my venues, the audience is a bit old so they often come early. We had already canceled the 10 p.m. sessions a long time ago. I have already spoken with my programmer. We’re going to have to call all the distributors to bring the schedules forward. And to propose, after next Wednesday, films which are not too long… But the weekend, it will be harder.

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