In a tradition that dates back to 1946, the French Union of Film Critics designated Krzysztof Kieslowski’s “Three Colors: Red” as the best French film of 1994.

Under the banner of Poland, the helmer nabbed best foreign film honors from Crix Union in 1989 (“A Brief Love Story”), 1990 (“The Decalogue”) and 1991 (“The Double Life of Veronique”).

Canadian Atom Egoyan’s “Exotica” won the 27th Prix Moussinac for best foreign film. Ninety-six French films and 276 foreign pix (including 156 American titles) from 39 countries were released in Gaul in 1994.

Side-stepping artistic merit, the French trade paper Le Film Francais honored the most financially successful local and foreign pix of the year at its annual Trophy evening: Luc Besson’s “Leon” (“The Professional” in the States) racked up the most offshore sales and shared honors with “Un Indien dans la Ville” (An Indian in the City) for top Gallic B.O. earnings by a domestic production. “Fear City,” rated highest among debut films, while “The Lion King” was the best performing foreign release. Honorable mention for offshore fare went to “Four Weddings and a Funeral.”

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