The signing of an agreement aimed at defining the respective expertise of Unifrance and the French Institute in the film sector will take place at Cannes at the "Pavillon des Cinémas du Monde" Saturday, May 14, 2011, at 12.30 p.m. This agreement will be signed by Xavier Darcos, President of the French Institute (IF); Antoine de Clermont-Tonnerre, President of Unifrance; Eric Garandeau, President of the Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée (CNC); and Christian Masset, Director of Global Isssues, Development, and Partnerships at the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs (MAEE).
These two organizations aim to use this agreement to strengthen their collaboration in order to better serve the promotion of French cinema in international territories. The main provisions of the agreement include:
- Collaboration on the organization of retrospectives and tributes to contemporary filmmakers and actors, with the Film Institute delegating all requests for artists’ attendance at international events to Unifrance.
- Joint consultation on the organization of French Film Week events regularly initiated by French Embassies in order to raise the profile of these events.
- In accordance with the wishes of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication and the Ministry Foreign and European Affairs, a reinforcement of the complementary functions of the two organizations with the aim of enhancing the international visibility of French films, both contemporary and from past eras. While the direct links currently maintained by Unifrance with audiovisual attachés at French diplomatic posts abroad foster the efficient coordination of activities, this agreement notably makes provision for the reciprocal presence of both organizations in their respective governing bodies.
Since it was founded in 1949, Unifrance has served as a professional organization in charge of promoting and exporting French films around the world. Although far behind the United States, France is the world’s second most active exporter of film product. Unifrance is an association composed of 850 members (including producers, sales agents, directors, actors, and agents) that provides support to feature films and short films for their distribution in all of the major international territories. Each year, Unifrance hosts the world’s largest French film market, held Paris in January, as well as numerous French film festivals around the world throughout the year. It provides support for the presence of French films at over eighty international film festivals and promotes the distribution of these films in theaters and henceforth through all new distribution channels. Unifrance gathers, publishes, and distributes information about foreign theatrical markets for French industry professionals and provides foreign professionals with information assisting them in the distribution of French films.
The French Institute is an organization under the supervision of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs that was founded in accordance with the French Act of July 27, 2010, relating to cultural activities outside France. It supports and promotes French culture around the world, working closely with the French cultural network abroad. In the film and television sector, the French Institute promotes works belonging to French cultural heritage and facilitates the non-commercial distribution of recent works. It is responsible for the non-commercial distribution of a catalogue of films that are representative of the French film production industry, publishes thematic collections of works, and organizes retrospectives dedicated to the great names of French cinema. It is also responsible for the promotion of films belonging to the Cinémathèque Afrique and, in collaboration with the CNC, films from the Fonds Sud Cinéma Secretariat.