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French Filmmakers Rally Against Trump’s Proposed Cuts to Arts Funding in the U.S.

Variety logo Variety 3/23/2017 Elsa Keslassy
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PARIS – French filmmakers have rallied in support of American artists against President Trump’s proposal to eliminate funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The ARP – the French guild for directors, producers and authors, chaired by Claude Lelouch and co-presided over by Julie Bertuccelli and Michel Hazanavicius – published an open letter arguing that “Trump’s decision will have tremendous consequences.”

“Public funds for no fewer than 19 cultural entities will be eliminated and federal money for public radio and television merely cut. Such weakening of the American cultural landscape will make the day of big media groups, to the advantage of their commercial purposes and powerful algorithms,” said the ARP, whose board includes Costa Gavras, Nicolas Gessner, Pierre Jolivet, Cédric Klapisch, Gérard Krawczyk, Thomas Langmann, Olivier Nakache, Jean-Paul Salomé, Eric Tolédano and Patrick Braoudé.

“Muffling diversity that way could dangerously contribute to the current general tendency to chauvinism. We love and consider American culture and cinema as endless resources for inspiration and escape,” the French filmmakers said.

The ARP urged France’s presidential candidates to take a stand on the recent political events in the U.S., and noted that the candidates didn’t address these issues during their latest public TV debate on Monday.

“It is crucial that European leaders support the key role of culture in Europe,” the ARP’s letter said, adding that culture promotes “the values of freedom, tolerance and humanity that are so dear to us.”

The first round of voting in France’s presidential election is scheduled for April 23. Polls indicate the enduring popularity of far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, which has worried many in the entertainment industry.

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