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French filmmaker-producer Luc Besson is having a tumultuous summer. He’s facing rape allegations, EuropaCorp is going through a rough financial patch, and now his film school, l’Ecole de la Cite, is losing a number of its private backers and could shut down by the end of the year.
The school, which Besson launched in 2012 as an accessible alternative to the prestigious La Femis school, is free for students and operates with a budget of about €1.4 million ($1.6 million). It has been mostly financed by donations from sponsors including luxury brand Kering, TF1, Gaumont, Canal Plus and Transpalux. The school also receives public fundings from the National Film Board (CNC) and the Ile de France region, but these subsidies don’t exceed €400,000 in total.
Spokesperson - EuropaCorp - Variety - Bulk - School
A spokesperson for EuropaCorp told Variety that the bulk of the school’s private partners will no longer support the academy during the coming year for financial reasons. Meanwhile, Pathé, Gaumont, and M6 stopped backing the school a while ago, according to French news outlet BFMTV. Over the last five years, the financial contributions from private companies has plummeted from 1.82 million euros in 2012 to €179,660 in 2017, according to the school’s financial documents.
Requests for comment from Gaumont, Canal Plus and Transpalux were not returned.
Partners - School - EuropaCorp - Spokesperson - Options
“We are actively looking for other partners to help us fund the school and keep it alive,” the EuropaCorp spokesperson said. “We’re also exploring other options such as relocating the school...
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