Unifrance congratulates French filmmakers and German distributors on their results across the Rhine. With 5.3 million spectators registered for French films since the start of this year, many well-known directors and actors are traveling to Berlin and Munich to prepare the upcoming release of their films.
Attendance up by 15% in a generally weak market
At the end of November, Unifrance registered 5.3 million spectators for the 52 French films released in Germany since the beginning of 2005. This shows an increase of 15% compared to the total admissions score for 2004. 2005 will thus go down as one of the most successful years for French films in Germany in the past ten years, just behind the exceptional figures of 2002. This progress is all the more significant considering that movie attendance in Germany at this time shows a decline of over 20%.
A number of films of very different genres have contributed to these fine results. They include "The Emperor's Journey" (aka "March of the Penguins") by Luc Jacquet, which has just crossed the million spectators mark this weekend (released by Kinowelt on October 13); "Transporter 2" by Louis Leterrier (735,000 admissions, released by Universum); and "A Very Long Engagement" by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (620,000 admissions, Warner). Some fifteen other titles will also have broken the 100,000 admissions barrier by the end of the year, such as "The Light" by Philippe Lioret (165,000 admissions, released by Arsenal), "Intimate Strangers" by Patrice Leconte (120,000 admissions, Arsenal), "Mariscos Beach" (115,000 admissions, Prokino), "Me and My Sister" (104,000 admissions, Arsenal), and "A Common Thread" by Eléonore Faucher (97,000 admissions, Delphi).
Nathalie Baye, Patrice Chéreau, François Ozon, and Benoît Magimel in Berlin early December
Against this backdrop of successful results, numerous French artists have accepted invitations from their distributors to join the promotion of their films in Germany. Among them, Patrice Chéreau was in Berlin December 5 and 6 to promote "Gabrielle" (slated for release January 12, 2006 by Concorde), and François Ozon accompanied "Time to Leave" from December 3 through 5 (to be released March 3 by Prokino). Nathalie Baye made the trip to Berlin December 7 to promote "The Little Lieutenant" by Xavier Beauvois (due for release in March by Arsenal, and winner of the Unifrance/MFG Distribution Funding Award at the Tuebingen - Stuttgart - International French-language Film Festival), and to attend the inauguration of a retrospective dedicated to the actress at the French Embassy's Film Office in Berlin. Benoît Magimel is also expected in Berlin in December to promote "Sky Fighters" by Gérard Pirès (to be released February 2 by 3L Filmverleih). All of these trips made by French artists are supported by Unifrance. Many other French film released have already been announced for the first six months of 2006, including "The Last Trapper" by Nicolas Vanier (January 5, 3L Filmverleih), "Hidden" by Michael Haneke (January 26, Prokino), and "Live & Become" by Radu Mihaileanu (April 6, Delphi), which has just picked up the Audience Prize at the Leipzig/Halle French Film Festival (formerly-RDA).
For further information, contact:
Marketing Department - Germany, Austria, Scandinavia and the UK/Head of Economic Publications, Unifrance Paris
Tel: (33) 1 47 53 27 01
Unifrance Representative in Germany, Unifrance Munich Office
Tel: (49 89) 59 39 17