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Festivals & events

20 October 2009 à 18:43

Australians in Paris

In a Unifrance-organized initiative, one New Zealand and seven Australian journalists have been invited to Paris from October 26 through 30 to meet with French movie industry artists.

Held for the fourth consecutive year, this press junket aims to promote the French movie industry in the Australian and New Zealand media in the hope of boosting both the exposure of French films and the volume of film acquisitions.

The following journalists were selected in collaboration with Australian distributors: Philippa Hawker (The Age), Mark Naglazas (The West Australian), Julian Shawn (FilmInk), Diana Streak (The Canberra Times), Andrew Fenton (The Advertiser), Garry Maddox (The Sydney Morning Herald), Nell Schofield (Show Time TV), and Peter Calder (The New Zealand Herald).

During their stay in Paris, the journalists will interview directors and actors from 25 films that are slated for release in upcoming months in Australia as well as titles to be presented at this year’s Alliance Française French Film Festival, held in partnership with the Alliance Française and Unifrance. The following artists will take part in interviews: Christian Carion and Guillaume Canet for L’Affaire Farewell (Farewell), Robert Guédiguian for L’Armée du crime (The Army of Crime), Riad Sattouf for Les Beaux gosses (The French Kissers), Anna Mouglalis and Jan Kounen for Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinski, Danièle Thompson and Patrick Bruel for Le Code a changé (Change of Plans), Denis Dercourt and Jérémie Rénier for Demain dès l’aube (Tomorrow at Dawn), Judith Godrèche for Fais-moi plaisir, Mona Achache and Josiane Balasko for Le Hérisson, Anne Consigny and André Dussollier for Les Herbes folles (Wild Grass), Eric Lavaine, Bénabar, and Franck Dubosc for Incognito, Zabou Breitman and Marie-Josée Croze for Je l’aimais (Someone I Loved), Claude Miller for Je suis heureux que ma mère sois vivante (I'm Glad that My Mother Is Alive), Amanda Sthers for Je vais te manquer (You’ll Miss Me), Caroline Bottaro for Joueuse (Queen to Play), Marie-Josée Croze and Marc Lavoine for Liberté (Korkoro), Stéphane Brizé, Sandrine Kiberlain, and Aure Atika for Mademoiselle Chambon, Michel Hazanavicius for OSS 117, Rio ne répond plus (OSS 117 – Lost in Rio), Catherine Corsini for Partir (Leaving), Mia Hansen-Love for Le Père de mes enfants (The Father of My Children), Rémi Bezançon and Zabou Breitman for Le premier jour du reste de ta vie (The First Day of the Rest of Your Life), Fred Cavayé for Pour elle (Anything for Her), Cécile Telerman for Quelque chose à te dire (Blame It on Mum), Stijn Coninx for Sœur Sourire (Sister Smile), Jacques Audiard and Niels Arestrup for Un prophète (A Prophet), Marilou Berry for Vilaine (Ugly Melanie), and Philippe Lioret for Welcome.

In 2008, the 29 French films released on Australian screens attracted 2.4 million spectators, with box office receipts tallying over €14 million. These results rank French films in 4th place behind American, British, and local productions. Among high performers in 2008 were French majority productions shot in French, such as Le Scaphandre et le papillon (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) with 98,500 admissions and Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis (Welcome to the Sticks) with 76,500 admissions. The most successful French productions shot in a  foreign language were Taken (633,000 admissions), The Duchess (467,500 admissions), and Babylon A.D. (139,000 admissions).

In spite of the economic crisis and flagging movie attendance in Australia since the start of 2009, French films registered an impressive 1 million admissions by September 30. It is worth noting the continuing success of Il y a longtemps que je t’aime (I’ve Loved You So Long), which posts a running total of over 200,000 admissions since its release late 2008, Coco avant Chanel (Coco Before Chanel, with 250,000 admissions), L’Heure d’été (Summer Hours, with close to 95,000 admissions), and in the foreign-language French film category, Transporter 3, credited with over 295,000 admissions.

Film acquisitions in Australia have risen significantly since April 2009. A host of new releases are scheduled between December 2009 and October 2010, including Gainsbourg, Les Herbes folles (Wild Grass), Welcome , Mademoiselle Chambon, Lol, Le Hérisson, L’armée du crime (The Army of Crime), and Sœur Sourire (Sister Smile).

In recent years, Unifrance has provided considerable support to the exposure of French films in Australia and New Zealand, by organizing these press junkets and sponsoring the Alliance Française French Film Festival, as well as supporting the commercial release of films and assisting with travel expenses for artists to promote their films at the time of their release.

Author : Grégory Fleuriet

Latest update : 29 October 2009 à 18:43 CET

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