UniFrance Bows International French Cinema Fest on Bastille Day at Cannes Festival

UniFrance, the French film promotion org headed by Serge Toubiana and Daniela Elstner, is launching the International French Cinema Fest on Bastille Day at the Cannes Film Festival.

The event aims at shining a light on some of France’s latest productions whose release plans were disrupted due to the pandemic.

Spanning over 30 countries, the International French Cinema Fest is being organized in partnership with distributors and exhibitors around the world who will host 50 premiere screenings of select French movies ahead of their theatrical release in key territories, including the U.S. and the U.K. Other countries involved in the initiative include Argentina, the Baltic States, Belgium, Brazil, Finland, Germany, Greece, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.

“This is a unique occasion to (re)invigorate the collective experience of watching movies, on a global scale,” said Elstner, who worked closely with Gilles Renouard, the co-managing director of UniFrance, to put together the initiative.

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Some of the movies set to play in the U.S. as part of the International French Cinema Fest include Jean-Paul Salomé’s “Mama Weed” (pictured) with Isabelle Huppert, which Music Box Films will release in the U.S.; Quentin Dupieux’s “Mandibles” which is being handled by Magnolia Pictures; “New York: Casanova, Last Love” from Cohen Media Group; and “My Donkey, My Lover & I,” Caroline Vignal’s comedy with Laure Calamy. The actor won a Cesar award for her performance in the film. This premiere of “My Donkey, My Lover & I” is being organised by the Consulate General of France in New York, the FIAF and the Committee of French Speaking Societies.

UniFrance has been highly active during the pandemic. It hosted its two biggest events of the year, the Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in Paris, and in New York (with Film Society at Lincoln Centre) online with full-on programs and the participations of key talent, sales agents and international distributors. Toubiana was just reelected as president for a two-year term.

French cinema is out in force at the Cannes Film Festival with several titles competing, including Jacques Audiard’s “Paris, District 13th” which is world premiering today (July 14).

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