Organized for the fourth consecutive year, this press junket aims to promote the French film industry in the Australian media, with the objective of increasing the distribution and acquisitions of French films.
The journalists present were selected in consultation with Australian distributors: Philippa Hawker (The Age), Mark Naglazas (West Australian), Julian Shaw (FilmInk), Diana Streak (The Canberra Times), Andrew Fenton (Advertiser), Garry Maddox (Sydney Morning Herald), Nell Schofield (Show Time TV) and Peter Calder (New Zealand Herald).
During their stay in Paris, they were able to interview the directors and actors of 25 films slated for release in Australia and New Zealand in the coming months, or programed for The Alliance The Alliance Française French Film Festival, in partnership with the Alliance française: Christian Carion and Guillaume Canet for L’Affaire Farewell, Robert Guédiguian for The Army of Crime, Riad Sattouf for The French Kissers, Jan Kounen and Anna Mouglalis for Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinski, Danièle Thompson and Patrick Bruel for Change of Plans, Denis Dercourt for Demain dès l’aube, Mona Achache and Josiane Balasko for The Hedgehog, Anne Consigny and André Dussollier for Wild Grass, Bénabar for Incognito, Zabou Breitman and Marie-Josée Croze for Someone I Loved, Claude Miller for I'm Glad that My Mother Is Alive, Amanda Sthers for You'll Miss Me, Caroline Bottaro for Queen's Play, Marie-Josée Croze and Marc Lavoine for Korokoro, Stéphane Brizé, Sandrine Kiberlain and Aure Atika for Mademoiselle Chambon, Michel Hazanavicius for OSS 117, Lost in Rio, Catherine Corsini for Leaving, Mia Hansen-Løve for The Father of My Children, Rémi Bezançon and Zabou Breitman for The First Day of the Rest of Your Life, Fred Cavayé for Anything for Her, Cécile Telerman for Blame It on Mum, Stijn Coninx for Sister Smile, Jacques Audiard and Niels Arestrup for A Prophet, Marilou Berry, Allan Mauduit and Jean-Patrick Benes for Ugly Melanie, and Philippe Lioret for Welcome.
In 2008, the 29 French films that were released in Australian theaters attracted 2.4 million admissions for a box office of more than €14 million. This result places France in 4th position behind the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Among 2008's success stories, we note in the majority productions in the French language category: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, with 98,500 admissions, and Welcome to the Sticks, with 76,500 admissions. When it comes to productions in a foreign language, Taken (633,000 admissions), The Duchess (467,500 admissions) and Babylon AD (139,000 admissions) stand out.
Despite the economic crises and a slowing down in admissions since the beginning of the year, French films had already raked up nearly 1 million admissions since September 30. Notable successes are I've Loved You So Long, which has accumulated more than 200,000 admissions since its release at the end of 2008, Coco Before Chanel (250,000 admissions), Summer Hours (95,000), and for films in a foreign language: Transporter 3 , with more than 295,000 admissions.
Since April 2009, the volume of French film acquisitions has noticeably increased. Many releases will therefore be tallied between December 2009 and October 2010, among which these titles feature: Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque), Wild Grass, Welcome, Mademoiselle Chambon, LOL (Laughing Out Loud), The Hedgehog, The Army of Crime, Sister Smile etc..
For some years now, Unifrance has strongly supported French productions in this territory, by organizing this press junket and by supporting the festival and theatrical releases through the presence of French artists who travel to Australia to promote their films.