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News in brief

28 April 2014 à 10:44

Charles Nemes's letter from Kazakhstan

Invited as a guest at the presentation of Hotel Normandy at the 5th French Cinema Today Festival in Almaty, Kazakhstan, held from April 17-20, 2014, Charles Nemes shares his experiences in this letter.

When I accepted UniFrance Films's invitation to attend this festival that they organize each year in Almaty, Kazakhstan, I could never have imagined the emotions that came over me when I presented my film Hotel Normandy to a packed theater of enthusiastic spectators drawn by the attraction of French cinema, which has continued to whet their appetites for several years now. There was a fervor in their eyes, in their attentiveness, in the sincerity of their welcome, that brought home to me my own responsibilities as a filmmaker. I was struck by a fear of disappointing them and by a realization that for them, for just one evening, I was representing the entire French movie industry and a small part of our national culture—a position for which I had in no way prepared myself in advance. What if the film didn't live up to their expectations, if it was not worthy of their confidence?

But their smiles and the questions asked during the Q&A session after the screening reassured me, and the thought occurred to me that when it comes to promoting French films, there are no countries more worthy than others, there are only destinations that are popular for different reasons, and those that are seemingly more comfortable. My anxiety gave way to pride, and the rest of my trip was divided between discovering a country that I would never have known without this festival, meetings with the media and French and Kazakh cultural figures, a lot of laughter, amazing meals, and many cultural visits, all of which was managed with care, consideration, and great communicative warmth by Joël Chapron and Erell Tanguy.

To all my colleagues, I have this advice for you: pursue and explore the more unusual paths that UniFrance Films opens up for you. It's important for your films, but also for our movie industry, and you'll come back with unforgettable memories.

I hope you will forgive my rather over-the-top enthusiasm!

Best regards,

Charles Nemes

Author : Anne Pampin

Latest update : 06 May 2014 à 10:44 CEST

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