Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday May 6 several measures to support the cultural sector, hard hit by the crisis. But the press officers say they do not go into any device.
You do not know their names or their faces, at best, you have seen them, in the background, on a climb of the steps, a red carpet, smartphone in hand, behind the stars of the big screen. They, or rather they (the profession is very feminine), are the press officers of the films. With a passion for cinema, they endure endless days, the whims of actresses and actors, the varying moods of directors, directors and journalists. Paradox of the moment, some of them were at the César, the Oscars, in evening dress and a few weeks later…. penniless.
Since March 16 and the start of confinement, no more film releases in theaters, “not a euro. Nothing”, explains Marie Queysanne, who has just had some great moments with the film Wretched from Ladj Ly, whom she accompanied from Cannes 2019 to Los Angeles. “We are not entitled to partial unemployment, and no device has been devised for us, we are in the holes of the racket. “Because a majority of press officers are self-employed.
Knocked out but not shot, they quickly mounted the Clap, a free circle of film press attachés. An association that has knocked on all doors, alerted the public authorities to their situation as shadow workers but, deplores Marie Queysanne: “We have received a vague and totally unsuitable response, to which we do not enter, and no concrete proposal has been made to us to date. We really hope that there will be, that things will change because there, we are leaving for a month of May at 0 € and we do not know how we will do“During this time without income, you have to pay the rents and the Urssaf levies continue.
Even more painful than the CNC, the national cinema center, quickly took steps to support a sector that weighs heavily in the economy of culture in France. But the same CNC seems to have forgotten the press officers, an essential profession in the same way as producers, distributors and operators. If the announcements of the President of the Republic in favor of intermittent workers have reassured actresses, actors and technicians, press officers are not eligible for this compensation scheme.
Finally, as in other sectors, music, live performance, the cancellation of festivals like that of Cannes weighs terribly heavy for this profession. The press officers gathered in the Clap now want to be heard. Everything except an end clap.