The 4th Beijing International Film Festival (April 16 through 23), is placing France in the spotlight this year, together with celebrations for the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between France and China.
The festival’s opening ceremony on April 16 will feature a presentation of Christophe Gans’s film Beauty and the Beast, starring Léa Seydoux and Vincent Cassel. The ceremony will be held at the main theater of the National Performing Arts Center in the presence of 1,400 guests, including Léa Seydoux and Christophe Gans. Coordinated by UniFrance Films and the local distributor E Star, the presence of the film’s crew for this event will provide strong support for the release of the film in China over upcoming months in 2014, notably through a large number of meetings organized with local media, film students, and Chinese movie professionals.
This section of the Beijing Festival will open on April 17 with a premiere screening of Volcan by Alexandre Coffre, held in the presence of the film’s lead actor, Dany Boon. Volcan will be launched on over 3,000 screens throughout China on May 9. This release comes in the wake of the highly successful release in China in 2013 of another film starring Dany Boon, Fly me to the moon. UniFrance Films President, and director of the film, Jean-Paul Salomé, will also be in Beijing, and subsequently in Chengdu, to accompany the French Film Panorama and to present his latest film, Playing Dead. Producers Luc Bossi and Vincent Roget will be in attendance to present their respective films, Mood Indigo and Barbecue.
Ten other French productions will be showcased in the festival’s other sections, including My Summer in Provence, with its world premiere to be held in Beijing in the presence of Jean Reno.
Held as a sidebar event, a Film Market held from April 17 to 19 at the China Millennium Monument, will bring together the major Chinese production and distribution companies. A French pavilion jointly held by FilmFrance and UniFrance Films will present opportunities for film shoots and productions in France, along with catalogues of the latest French films available for distribution in China. A discussion forum will be held April 17 on the subject of the numerous movie industry interactions and collaborations between France and China. Guest speakers at the forum include Jean-Jacques Annaud and his Chinese production designer on Wolf Totem, Wang Chao, who has just recently completed a film in France with Jérémie Elkaïm and Wang Xiaoshuai, the director of the first Franco-Chinese co-production.
The delegation of French artists and industry professionals will be led by CNC President Frédérique Bredin, alongside UniFrance Films President Jean-Paul Salomé. With the aim of continuing dialogue initiated several months ago by these two agencies with Chinese movie industry professionals and government representatives, this trip to Beijing will provide an opportunity to highlight the specific nature of the French system of ensuring a diversity of films on movie screens while preserving the presence of national productions, as well as to support the Franco-Chinese Co-Production Agreement and to advocate for a stronger presence for French films on Chinese screens and a diversified offer of films from different nationalities, in which French productions must stand out for their own distinctive characteristics.
The French Film Panorama is organized with support from the Sponsors’ Committee of the 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Ties between France and the People’s Republic of China, in collaboration with the French Embassy in China.