BNP Paribas and the film industry are connected by a shared set of values including creativity, imagination and innovation. For over 100 years, the BNP Paribas Group has supported and promoted every aspect of the seventh art, both in France and around the world. Its goal is to bring a rich variety of films to all audiences, while supporting the development of the film industry, promoting the emergence of new talent and encouraging transformation throughout the film world.
Active across the industry’s entire value chain, BNP Paribas’s commitment to film is rooted in three main focus areas: financing audio-visual production, partnerships and innovation to develop brand affinity. Today, film is a major passion that the bank shares with its customers.
BNP Paribas supports the cinema industry
BNP Paribas stands by the cinema industry, both in good and difficult times. Facing the health crisis, BNP Paribas has enabled the extension of nearly 160 State Guaranteed Loans (PGE) in France reaching 150 million euros in the media sector, in 2020. The Group has also maintained all of the aid to the festivals it supports, such as the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Directors' Fortnight) and the Lyon Lumière Festival, particularly by supporting them in their transformation during these complicated months. Lastly, the Group put innovative support mechanisms in place to sustain operators:
- the Group and BNL, its Italian subsidiary, took steps to maintain the Italian cinema Azzurro Scipioni - an iconic hall and major site of independent cinema and origination in Rome - through a five-year sponsorship;
in France, the Group launched the operation ‘Featuring our merchants’, a new collaboration with the FNCF, which brings together three players in local life: merchants, cinemas and the bank.
BNP Paribas has also supported the reopening of cinemas in France by offering nearly 60,000 seats and cinema passes to the general public on We Love Cinema, since 2020.
Devoted to financing audiovisual production
Back in 1935, the Group’s Italian subsidiary BNL created a department devoted to financing film production. Rome, Open City directed by Rossellini in 1944, La Dolce Vita directed by Fellini in 1960, Cinema Paradiso directed by Tornatore in 1989, The Son’s Room directed by Moretti in 2001 – each of these masterpieces received financing from the Bank.
Since then, the relationship between the bank and the film industry has only grown, leading to several new projects.
In Europe, more than 60 specialists work on our initiatives to finance film productions. In France, the Pôle Image et Médias combines financing activities for film and audiovisual productions. Through its efforts, almost half of all French films receive direct or indirect funding from BNP Paribas.
In February 2022, BNP Paribas has concluded an agreement with Neuflize OBC and UGC, to hold 100% of the share capital of Cofiloisirs, a major player in film and audiovisual financing.
These activities have made BNP Paribas the leading European bank in terms of financing film and audiovisual work.
In 2021, BNP Paribas notably participated in the financing of three winning 2021 César films: ‘Les choses qu’on dit, les choses qu’on fait' directed by Emmanuel Mouret, ‘Deux’ by Filippo Meneghetti and ‘La bonne épouse’ by Madeline Fontaine.
But our support for film does not stop there. The creation of BNL’s Artigiancassa “Rete Temporanea d’Impresa” film production loan, in 2007, and the BNP Paribas Fortis Film Fund in 2008 both help to ensure the production, distribution and export of films in Italy and Belgium.
Supporting and revealing the next stars of the Big Screen
Since 2018, BNP Paribas has supported young film talent with its production company BNP Paribas Pictures, through an investment fund dedicated to financing and co-producing the first films of cinema's new talents.
The Group was notably co-producer of the following films: ‘Les Magnétiques,' Vincent Mael Cardona's first film, selected at the 2021 Directors' Fortnight; ‘Une Jeune fille qui va bien,’ the first film by Sandrine Kiberlain, shown at the 2021 Critics' Week in Cannes; ‘Les Survivants,’ the first film by Guillaume Renusson, winner of the Mobile Film Festival in 2013 and 2014.
In 2019, BNP Paribas sought to strengthen its action to promote accessibility of film training and the emergence of young talent, by supporting the following initiatives:
- For young cinema enthusiasts (between the ages of 22 and 32) who have already developed artistic abilities but whose social origin, family history or school career has left them out of high level audiovisual training, BNP Paribas has committed, along with La Résidence de la Fémis, to give them access to an 11-month full-time training course, regardless of any diplomas.
BNP Paribas is also involved, alongside Mille Visages, an association founded in 2006 by the filmmaker Houda Binyamina for her film 'Divines' (César Award for Best First Film), with a major ambition: to democratise the film industry. The association also trains young people across the board to create bridges between the various cinematographic professions.
Positive impact cinema: raising public awareness of the challenges facing our society
Because it is a long-standing player committed to a more sustainable and inclusive economy, the BNP Paribas Group is increasing its support for positive impact cinema. In 2020, BNP Paribas, as principal partner, supported the film ‘WOMAN,’ directed by Anastasia Mikova and Yann Arthus Bertrand, a vibrant film that gives voice to 2,000 women across 50 countries. The film was awarded the Sfera 1932 Award at the Venice Mostra in 2019.
The Group also supported the Australian director Craig Leeson, who is strongly committed to combating climate change and preserving biodiversity. After supporting his award-winning documentary film ‘A Plastic Ocean,’ the Group is supporting ‘The Last Glaciers,’ which is scheduled to be in theatres during 2021.
In France, the BNP Paribas Group supports national and regional cinema events: the Télérama Cinema Festival, the Lyon Lumière Festival, the César Academy, the Angoulême Francophone Film Festival, the Directors' Fortnight, as well as events held in Strasbourg, Saint Etienne, Arras, Rennes, Deauville, etc.
Some thirty events receive assistance from the Group through financial support, distributing passes, dedicated communications kits, etc.
For the Group, our passion for film knows no boundaries
BNP Paribas Fortis also serves as a partner of the Magritte Awards, which recognise the best Belgian films, the Be Film Festival, which offers a showcase for Belgian film, the FIFF de Namur, which celebrates the best Belgian films in French, and the Ensor Awards, which honor the best Belgian productions in Flemish. And animated films do not go forgotten at BNP Paribas Fortis, which also supports the Anima Festival in Brussels.
In Italy, BNL pursues its long-term commitment to the seventh art by supporting the International Film Festival of Rome, the Nastri d’Argento Awards as well as the Giornate degli Autori Venice Days (an event honoring films from all over), the Premi David di Donatello and many more events.
Sharing our passion with all audiences
To share our passion for the seventh art with all audiences, BNP Paribas became the exclusive partner of the Federation of French Cinemas (FNCF) in 2007, supporting all of its major events in France: La Fête du Cinéma. The Group also supports the Telerama Film Festival.
Each year at these major events, BNP Paribas invites around 50,000 people to the cinema thanks to games through our website welovecinema.bnpparibas.
Rêve de cinéma
And to make sure everyone can enjoy the magic of movies, the non-profit organization Rêve de cinéma, supported by BNP Paribas since 2011, brings the film world directly to hospitalized or disabled children and teenagers, offering them a few hours of entertainment to brighten their day.
Preserving film classics and masterpieces
For BNP Paribas, supporting film also means preserving its diversity. The Group takes action to protect all types of films from all kinds of backgrounds.
In 2010, BNP Paribas and Le Trianon, a historical movie theater in Romainville/Noisy-le-Sec, teamed up to spread the word about its film heritage. This legendary theater served for 14 years as the set of the television show “La Dernière Séance”, hosted by Eddy Mitchell, and still remains an important cultural and events center for film lovers of every variety.
And to preserve the legacy of film masterpieces, BNP Paribas has contributed to restoring classic movies.
In 2003, BNP Paribas contributed to the restoration of “Modern Times”, which was the closing film at the Cannes Film Festival that year. The Group renewed the operation in 2007 for three more Charlie Chaplin films: “The Kid”, “The Gold Rush” and “The Circus”. In 2013, the Group also participated in the restoration and digitalization of two French classics: “Parade” by Jacques Tati and “The Young Girls of Rochefort” by Jacques Demy. In 2015, it continued with “The Sucker”, directed by Gérard Oury.
Bringing film lovers together
In 2019, BNP Paribas created a platform dedicated entirely to film: welovecinema.bnpparibas. The site offers a wide variety of content for all types of film lovers. This includes news about the film industry, actors, film shoots; information about new releases; trailers and sneak-peek images, etc.
In 2012, BNL launched its new site welovecinema.it to connect film lovers with film industry professionals. We Love Cinema has earned huge success on social media with 180,000 fans and 40,000 followers.
In Belgium, BNP Paribas Fortis is the leading partner of Cinevox, a platform dedicated to promoting Belgian film.