This fall, Unifrance events have offered an enthusiastic welcome to the latest animated film by Jérémy Clapin, Skhizein, which has scooped up a host of prizes: The Golden Bayard at the Namur International Francophone Film Festival, the Audience Award at the Uppsala International Short Film Festival, the Golden Dove at the Leipzig International Animated Film Festival, the Leo Award for Best Music for a Short Film at the Braunschweig International Film Festival, the Award for Best Animated Film at the Leeds International Film Festival, not to mention the Audience Award and the Onda Curta RTP2 Prize at the Fundão International Youth Film Festival (Imago).
Audiences at the Cinemania Francophone Film Festival presented Versailles by Pierre Schoeller with the Mel Hoppenheim Award, which comes with a trophy and a $5,000 grant.
Mathieu Amalric will be in Taiwan in December to shoot a new film by the Larrieu brothers, and will also present an award at the Golden Horse Award ceremony, the local equivalent of the Academy Awards as well as taking part in the promotional campaign for Un Conte de Noël (A Christmas Tale).
Isabelle Huppert won the Silver Astor Award for Best Actress for her role in Home by Ursula Meier at the recent Mar del Plata International Film Festival.
The UK Film Council presented its distribution aid grants (the Print and Advertising Fund) this month. Three French films were among the winners: Julia by Erick Zonca and Parlez-moi de la pluie (Let It Rain) by Agnès Jaoui, were awarded €5,900 and €5,200 respectively. Cinefile Ltd also received €5,463 to assist the distribution of Dialogue avec mon jardinier (Conversations with My Gardener) by Jean Becker.
Chasseurs de Dragons (Dragon Hunters), a French production by Futurikon and Valse avec Bachir (Waltz with Bachir), a Franco-Israeli co-production from Les Films d'Ici and Gang Productions, are among 14 films to be vying for the Oscar for Best Animated Film at the Academy Awards.
The 22nd Carthage Film Days awarded their Golden Tanit to Teza by the Ethiopian director Haile Gerima, a French co-production produced by Philippe Avril (Unlimited). The film remained in the spotlight at this event, also winning the awards for Best Supporting Actor for Abeye Tedla, Best Cinematography for Mario Masini, and Best Music for Vijay Iyer and Jorga Mesfin. Karim Dridi, director of Khamsa (a Mirak Films production, in co-production with Arte France Cinéma) was honored with the Bronze Tanit.
The 7th Varilux French Film Festival, organized by the distributor Pandora Filmes with support from the French Embassy and Unifrance, is being held from November 7 through December 18, 2008, in 12 Brazilian cities. This festival line-up includes 7 films: Actrices (Actresses), 15 ans et Demi, La personne aux deux personnes (Me Two), Pas sur la bouche (Not on the Lips), Felix et Lola, La Belle Personne, and Eloge de l'amour (In Praise of Love). All these films have secured a distributor in Brazil. This event will enable French films to reach a wider audience beyond the major Brazilian cities, and, in particular, to offer them the chance of theatrical release in a territory that remains difficult for French films to penetrate.
The French Film Festival organized by the Irish Film Institute (IFI), which took place over ten days in Ireland, confirmed its growing reputation by presenting local audiences with a selection of some twenty French films. The event attracted 1,400 spectators, marking a 36% rise in attendance compared to 2007. Audiences were invited to vote for their favorite film from among those screened, with Dialogue avec mon jardinier (Conversations with My Gardener) by Jean Becker (distributed exclusively by IFA from December 12) crowned as this year’s winner.