Elsa Zylberstein stars as Simone Viel in opening film at UniFrance Rendezvous with French Cinema in Paris later this month Photo: Warner Bros Pictures France
This time around the organisers UniFrance have managed to revive a physical presence in Paris for the industry with “a pared-down format strictly tailored to the current health situation and, of course, subject to any decisions that may be announced by the French government in the lead-up to the opening of the event on January 11.” The media part of the event will take place online with journalists encountering the talent via Zoom.
Anaïs Demoustier in The Love Letter by Jérôme Bonnell Photo: Mk2
“It was important and an honour to play a woman like this. She is an extraordinary female who made history and who behaved like an extraordinary crusader,” Zylberstein has said of the role. Dahan has a penchant for strong female-centric films such as La Vie En Rose with Marion Cotillard as Piaf and Grace Of Monaco with Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly.
For the first time the event has expanded to include television productions.
Centred around the Hotel du Collectionneur and screening rooms near the Champs-Elysées, the occasion will be more sober without any glittering receptions. No receptions will be held while the programmed events —screenings, pitch sessions, and markets — will be attended in strict compliance with health protocols.
Daniela Elstner, UniFrance managing director: Welcoming a new era Photo: UniFrance
A one-day Europe-focussed event will bring together more than 30 French and international industry figures (including producers, sales agents, actors, directors, festival directors, foreign distributors, broadcasters, and representatives from institutional bodies) to reappraise and champion “the soft power approach and the sovereignty of French cinema and television productions”.
Putting a positive spin on the proceedings Daniela Elstner, UniFrance’s managing director, said: “The UniFrance Rendezvous opens a new era for our organisation.” In a message to delegates she underlines that “It is your diversity, your curiosity, and your commitment that has allowed the diversity of French films to flourish.”