Unifrance continues its activities in Eastern Europe, currently organizing the 6th Budapest French Film Festival, to be held from April 25 through 27 this year.
Since Hungary's economic revival, marked by a turning point for the country in the mid-nineties coinciding with the opening of the first multiplexes in Budapest, movie attendance has picked up significantly. Along with Slovenia, Hungary is now one of only two Eastern European countries to boast annual cinema admissions per person at higher than 1.
On top of this, since Unifrance and the French Embassy launched this festival in 1997, the number of spectators registered to new French films shot in the French language has multiplied by a factor of 5.6!
From 1999 to 2001 were particularly advantageous years for French cinema in the country, with "Taxi 2," "Asterix and Obelix versus Caesar" and especially "Taxi" winning the hearts of Hungarian moviegoers, thanks to the efforts of the films' distributors as well as support offered for their release by French authorities.
2001 will go down as a particularly memorable year for French films. Not since back in 1992 has there been such a high number of French films released in the country (prior to the arrival of pay-TV channels, multiplexes and the strengthening of the video and DVD markets). French films overall (including foreign-language co-productions) saw their market share rise from 2.9% in 1996 to 8% in 2001, thus allowing Hungary to enter into the exclusive club of the 5 countries showing the strongest support for French films worldwide.
The 7 films to be presented at the centrally located Corvin complex's largest theater (500 seats), were all selected by Hungarian distributors. These films have already been sold in Hungary and are slated for release in the three months following the festival. This "festival of preview screenings" thus serves as a launching platform for the promotion of these films prior to their commercial release.
The films to be showcased at the festival are:
- "8 Women" by François Ozon, distributed by Budapest Film and screened as festival opener (in the presence of Ludivine Sagnier).
- "Far Away" by André Téchiné, distributed by Mokép (in the presence of Lubna Azabal).
- "The Piano Teacher" by Michael Haneke, distributed by Budapest Film.
– "Cet amour-là" by Josée Dayan, distributed by Budapest Film (in the presence of Aymeric de Marigny).
- "The Towering Montparnasse Inferno" by Charles Nemès, distributed by Best Hollywood (in the presence of Charles Nemès, Éric and Ramzy).
- "Vidocq" by Pitof, distributed by Mokép.
- "Wasabi" by Gérard Krawczyk, distributed by InterCom (in the presence of Gérard Krawczyk).
The festival is backed by Hungary's Ministry of Culture, France's Ministry of Culture and Communication, the city of Budapest, the French Embassy and the C.N.C. and sponsored by Citroën-Hungaria, RTL-Klub and Budapest Film.
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