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Gallic fare toplines Unifrance festival

MONTREAL — Unifrance Film Intl. is staging a Gallic film festival in Quebec City, Le Festival du Film Francais de Quebec, designed to boost French cinema’s profile in Canada.

The festival will run April 6-8, it was announced Monday, and will be officially opened at a ceremony presided over by French Culture Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy and his Quebec counterpart, Louise Beaudoin.

The modest event will showcase six recent French pics, all of which will have their North American preems at the festival. The program includes Bertrand Tavernier’s “Capitaine Conan,” Claude Berri’s “Lucie Aubrac,” Albert Dupontel’s “Bernie,” Pierre Jolivet’s “Fred,” Philippe Lioret’s “Tenue Correcte Exigee” and Manuel Poirier’s “Marion.”

All the directors except Poirier will be on hand for the fest, along with well-known French thesps Marie-France Pisier, Jean-Luc Bideau, Elsa Zylberstein, Vincent Lindon and Jacques Gamblin. Unifrance president Daniel Tos-can du Plantier will also be on hand for the fest.

In addition to the screenings, there will be official discussions between French producers and Quebec distributors regarding the presence of French film in North America, and Tavernier will host a debate about his latest pic, “Capitaine Conan.”

The event is organized by Unifrance and Quebec provincial funder SODEC. Screenings will be held in Quebec City at the Cineplex Odeon Place Charest and Cinema Le Clap.

Unifrance, which used to hold an annual festival in Sarasota, Fla., now stages its main North American festival of French film in Acapulco, Mexico.

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