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Highlights - 07/02/2014


France, meeting ground for the cinema?


On Friday 24 January, at the Premiers Plans festival in Angers, the SPI (French Union of Independent Producers) organised a debate dealing notably with the position of French cinema on the international scene. The discussions were hosted by Elisabeth Lequeret, a journalist with the French international broadcaster RFI, film critic and French delegate at the Berlin International Film Festival. Participating in the discussions were Denis Freyd (producer, Archipel 35), Alain Rocca (President of UniversCiné), François Yon (sales agent, Films Distribution) and Claude-Eric Poiroux (General Director of Europa Cinemas), as well as representatives of the French Foreign Ministry, the CNC and Unifrance.

On several occasions during the discussions, participants stressed the importance of not calling into question the film theatre as the prime location for film exhibition, and its role in bringing films to audiences. Because while some films may benefit from being made accessible through video on demand platforms, this solution is unsatisfactory for works that already experience difficulties when released in cinemas. The cinemas and exhibitors concern themselves with the unique character of films, whereas the online exhibition of audiovisual works is rather uniform. Which platforms can match exhibitors in providing a differentiated approach, specifically adapted to films

The round table also allowed Claude-Eric Poiroux to highlight the Europa Cinemas network’s strong impact on the dissemination of French cinema outside its national territory. With 20% of screenings and 21% of admissions in European network theatres, it is second only to American cinema. And Europa Cinemas theatres are the first to host a large number of events – dedicated weeks, festivals – promoting French cinema.

The talks also dealt with issues concerning contemporary auteur cinema, notably the future of regulation for cinema on the screens and on the Internet.


Participants in the first discussion entitled “The position of French cinema on the international scene”:

Denis Freyd, producer – Archipel 35; Xavier Lardoux, Deputy Director of Unifrance; Michel Plazanet, Deputy Director of European and International Affairs at the CNC; Claude-Eric Poiroux, General Director of Europa Cinemas; Alain Rocca, President of UniversCiné; Anne Tallineau, Counsellor for Cultural Diplomacy at the French Foreign Ministry, and François Yon, exporter – Films Distribution.

Participants in the second discussion entitled “Research and support work for filmmakers from around the world”:

Jacques Bidou, producer – JBA Production; Nathalie Coste-Cerdan, Director of Cinema at the Canal Plus Group; Christophe Leparc, Secretary General of the Directors’ Fortnight; Valérie Mouroux, Director of the Cinema Department at the French Institute; Marianne Slot, producer – Slot Machine, and President of the programme L’aide aux cinémas du monde, and Olivier Wotling, Director of Cinema at the CNC.