Created by the Law of 25 October 1946, the "Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée" (French National Centre for Cinematography and the Moving Image / CNC) is a public administrative organisation under the authority of the Minister for Culture. It oversees the unity between design and implementation of public policy concerning cinema and other arts and industries of the moving image - namely audiovisual, video and multimedia, including video games.
The CNC pursues several missions, among which are observation of developments in professions and activities relating to cinema and other arts and industries of the moving image; contribution to the financing and development of such activities, and adapting them to market and technological changes. To that end, it grants financial aid to support the creation, production, distribution, exhibition and promotion of cinematographic and audiovisual works, as well as multimedia projects. It supports the creation and modernisation of cinemas; actions to promote image education and cultural broadcasting; initiatives for the development of the film industry which encourage the promotion and development of cinema and other arts and industries of the moving image both in France and abroad.
The CNC also audits the operating revenues from cinematographic or audiovisual works and documents created by cinema owners, and maintains film and audiovisual industry records. Lastly, it collects, preserves, restores and enhances cinematographic heritage and is also part of the fight against piracy of all works.
This industry represents approximately 1% of French GDP and employs some 340,000 people, matching the figures for the automotive industry.
In 2008, the CNC had an intranet and a website, both of which were ageing, limited and failed to meet the Centre's needs. The CNC thus set its sights on completing two projects – the first involved a virtual office for its agents to consult all types of information and access their business applications via a personalised workspace; the second was a content management project both for the intranet and for the cnc.fr website. The latter presented several challenges for the Centre. Firstly in functional terms, with the need to develop new features to make the different types of support (more than sixty offered) visible to agents and visitors alike, and to enable better management of the document base. Graphical and usability challenges soon followed. The search engine was no longer suitable and the CNC needed an efficient search tool to match the wealth and wide variety of its document base. This comprises, amongst other things, studies, statistics and committee reports, representing in total over 3,000 documents to be organised by category based on content, support mechanisms and applicant profiles. As a result, the site ergonomics and interface became essential in order to provide a smooth navigation experience for internet users and simplify access to applications for support. Brand image and communication were the final hurdle. The CNC website needed to serve as a real showcase for the organisation and present its history, founding principles, missions and structure,as well as shine a spotlight on French cinematographic heritage.
A call for tenders was thus launched among several companies and, as a result, Liferay was selected. At the same time, the CNC chose Workey as a paperless form solution and Alfresco for its document management.
Choosing and implementing the solution
The decision to use Liferay to revamp the website was based on several criteria. In addition to the company's reputation thanks to the Open Source aspect of its offering, Liferay natively integrates a large number of features (portlets) which are highly appreciated at the CNC. The solution is flexible, agile and makes it possible to meet users' content management needs. Furthermore, it allows simple integration of agent's business applications.
Added value for the organisation
The CNC is extremely satisfied with the ease of content management offered by Liferay.
Numerous features are available via a simple, user-friendly interface. While organising and presenting all the content remain an ongoing challenge for the CNC, categorisation by applicant (artists, authors, producers, etc.), production type and project phase when searching for support and financing is considered satisfactory. It is easier and faster for visitors to access the automatic (based on the economic success of a project) or selective (based on artistic criteria following judgement by professional committees) support application forms. Liferay's interfacing with the CNC's third-party solutions facilitates the digitisation of these applications, allowing faster processing and decision-making.
The search engine also represents significant added value for the CNC given the quantity, diversity and wealth of its content. The CNC's document base contains several thousand categorised articles, with more than 30 items spanning multiple professions created for each category. As the content is regularly updated, this Search function is subject to continuous optimisation to ensure visitors can access the relevant information as quickly as possible. Following the overhaul of its website, the CNC has enjoyed increasing success. The site averages 100,000 visitors a month and more than one million a year.
The CNC foresees a number of future developments.
First of all, mobility. Users must be able to access certain content (schedules, news, sectoral studies, etc.) from a tablet or smartphone natively via a user-friendly interface. The CNC therefore plans to upgrade to Liferay 6.2, which offers this "responsive design" feature. The CNC is also looking to give greater visibility to works and offer content in a range of formats to reach audiences with varying needs and communication methods directly, from young creators to experienced producers. This requires much more in-depth indexing, categorisation and presentation of content based on visitor profiles. The CNC also plans to develop specific channels perfectly suited to the needs of its audiences. This approach entails extensive knowledge of its users.
Lastly, for the "World Cinema" section aimed at film-makers worldwide to encourage the coproduction of works, the CNC aspires to restructure the content with a view to improving the usability and sharing of documents through Liferay Sync. This feature from Liferay enables offline document access, sharing, previews and synchronisation on mobile devices.