12 November 2010 à 16:17
A press junket in Paris by Julian Wood, journalist (FilmInc)
The Unifrance press trip is unique. Though it is hard to get through the dozens of interviews in a very intense week, no one could complain about the chance to meet and interview the likes of Isabelle Huppert, Juliette Binoche, Mathieu Almaric or Romain Duris, to name but a few.
The trip affords access to a wide range of stars but, as the French movie industry seems gloriously free of an uptight star system, the access is casual and professional without being precious. The actors mostly speak great English (better than my poor French) and they can field any question with ease. No one puts conditions on this open exchange and there are no visible minders telling where you can stand or sit or what you can say. This feels right.
It is also wonderful to see so many fine films (other countries can envy not only the professional way that Unifrance promotes French film culture, but also the fact that the French industry still produces such a volume of product).
Personal good memories included talking to Isabelle Huppert (who is so grounded and so sincere and so talented). I also greatly enjoyed falling under the spell of Mathieu Almaric who loves to tell a good story. Natalie Baye has no right to be so young for someone who has been on screen for decades!
Sophie Marceau was a very poised bi-lingual host to a crowd of eager journalists. Another highlight was meeting Bertrand Tavernier who is like a sort of 'human Google'. You have to be careful with your first question because the answer could take up the whole interview time. With him I got a fifteen minute lesson on late medieval military battle tactics. The interview with the director of Heartbreaker went very well despite my opening the interview about the wrong film! One last highlight was the great Jean Becker who told me a pretty good joke in French to round out a thoroughly Francophile experience.
Merci Unifrance !
Latest update : 22 November 2010 à 16:17 CET