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European Cinemas in the Television Age$
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Dorota Ostrowska and Graham Roberts

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748623082

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623082.001.0001

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France: Cinematic Television or Televisual Cinema: Ina and Canal +

France: Cinematic Television or Televisual Cinema: Ina and Canal +

(p.25) 3. France: Cinematic Television or Televisual Cinema: Ina and Canal +
European Cinemas in the Television Age

Dorota Ostrowska

Edinburgh University Press

Since the early 1970s, the production of cinéma d'auteur was an expression of the ‘mission créateur’ of public television and of an effort to legitimise TV in the eyes of intellectual elites. It was in the early 1970s, with the restructuring of the centralised television agency ORTF, that the commitment to produce auteur films was strongest, resulting in the creation of the Institut National d'Audiovisuel (INA). The establishment of the INA was underpinned by the idea that television cannot develop its full potential unless it is involved in some kind of creative experimentation and research into the possibilities of its own medium. In the 1980s, with the advent of Canal+, French television became the main source of financing and exhibiting French cinema on a scale which was in no way comparable to that of INA. Instead of some sixty hours of fiction programmes produced jointly by INA and the public channels, there was suddenly a whole channel solely dedicated to cinema. Ultimately, it was Canal+ rather than INA that was to change what cinema was in France, the ways in which it was made and consumed, while bringing the relationship between cinéma d'auteur and television out into the open.

Keywords:   Institut National d'Audiovisuel, éma d'auteur, public television, French cinema

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