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“Financial dependence”, “without long-term visibility”… The Court of Auditors singles out La Fémis

An establishment under perfusion.

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“Financial dependence”, “without long-term visibility”… The Court of Auditors singles out La Fémis

An establishment under perfusion. This is the image shown in the first report from the Court of Auditors concerning La Fémis - one of the most prestigious film schools in the country - published this Friday. The Sages of rue Cambon have scrutinized the accounts from 2016 to 2022 and the educational model of the famous National School of Image and Sound Professions, from which François Ouzon, Céline Sciamma and Bruno Dumont have notably graduated . “La Fémis is today called upon to take up a triple challenge: to complete its educational reform, regain economic sustainability and set an ambitious strategic horizon with regard to the training needs of the sector,” note the experts. The fault lies in a “financial dependence on the National Center for Cinema and Animated Images (CNC) and the absence of efficient supervision”.

As a public industrial and commercial establishment (EPIC) under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture via the CNC, La Fémis is nevertheless by nature “intended to ensure economic activity”, according to the Council of State, and is must therefore balance its accounts. In fact, with “almost constantly deficit” results, “the school is based on a model closer to that of an administrative establishment”, points out the Court of Auditors. The 12 million operating budget of La Fémis is in fact more than 75% financed by financial assistance from the CNC. Its own resources are quite meager: the students of this partner establishment of the University of Paris Sciences et Lettres have to pay tuition fees barely exceeding 400 euros per year, while each one costs nearly 50,000 euros annually. school according to the magistrates.

Result: the school “does not generate sufficient self-financing capacity to finance the renewal of its investments (on average 500,000 euros annually)”. Either a serious risk of deterioration, and a subject of concern for the Sages of rue Cambon for whom “the absence of budgetary and financial visibility is a major and critical problem for this school […] locked in a logic of annual management short-sighted.

Deprived of a multi-year strategy, even though “the vocation of a professional training organization requires, to respond to it, to adopt a long-term vision of the needs of a professional sector and of several generations of students”, La Fémis is sailing at view. Hence the warning signal sounded by the Court of Auditors: “If the Ministry of Culture was not able to arbitrate, within the overall envelope of its resources, a dedicated increase in the ceiling of jobs in favor of La Fémis, the importance of the risks to which such shortcomings expose the school will have to lead it to an internal redistribution of its human resources or to resort, subject to additional financing from the CNC, to external assistance to upgrade its administrative and financial management,” specifies the report.

Management says it “shares the Court’s recommendations.” The only downside: “Its ambition to transform itself is, however, limited by heavy constraints: a public establishment, La Fémis cannot, like its private counterparts, count on the dynamics of tuition fees to improve its self-financing and its own resource efforts. stagnate at 20%,” defends the school in a press release. Before appealing once again to the generosity of the State: “to meet the ambitious challenges set out by the Court, it would therefore like to have a strengthening of its resources”. The same Court whose report notes that La Fémis “runs out of steam year after year in justifying its recurring needs to obtain additional subsidies”.

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