On its website, UNESCO has published an interview with Nicholas Bailly, founder of touscoprod.com, a company that makes it possible for Internet users to co-produce films that have insufficient financing.
The website (touscoprod.com) offers Internet users the opportunity to become co-producers of films, starting with an investment of as little as €10. The films may be features, shorts, animation films, or documentaries.
“With just a click,” states Bailly, “it is possible to pay online and thus become a ‘co-producer’ of a film. In this way, the co-producer has access to a range of services and will receive a part of the profits of exhibition. These services are created according to the level of progress of every project: they may include a private forum, online discussions with the film team, as well priority in becoming an extra and invitations to participate in the filming or attend previews. In exchange for providing the sums raised from the Internet users, touscoprod negotiates profit rights with the producers of the films. Where relevant, the company pays 80% of the rights received to the co-producers.
“Our company’s objective is to raise supplementary funds for films whose budget are not completely covered. It is also a way of creating communities that will promote films by word of mouth.
“After only two months of existence, we now offer around fifteen films—including one feature—which have already raised nearly 30% of the €62,500 required, thanks to nearly 400 co-producers. These figures are very encouraging, all the more so as we have not yet launched any communication to make people aware of the site, apart from press coverage.
“We are currently negotiating to put a further dozen or so projects online (French and European features and documentaries). Our first film should be released in September 2009.”
The touscoprod.com founder views the UNESCO Convention as very ambitious. “Such a project must obviously be concrete in its action. The confrontation between economic realities and cultures must be a driving force for creativity. It is certain that new technologies will have an increasingly important role in UNESCO’s action for the protection of cultural diversity, as long as the local characteristics of every project and culture are respected, without trying to make them fit a universal mould and as long as the general public is involved, and not just in financial aspects. Everyone must be able to protect diversity in their own special way.”