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Pix Rendez-vous in Paris

Convention to focus buyer attention on Gallic films

PARIS — European film distributors and TV acquisition execs will gather in Paris on Friday for the second edition of the four-day European Rendez-vous of French Cinema.

Organized by French film export body Unifrance, the gathering is designed to focus buyer attention on recent Gallic pics that might otherwise get passed over at the bigger film markets such as AFM, Mifed and Cannes.

Given that French films rarely get bought for U.S. theatrical distribution and that the American Film Market is just around the corner, Unifrance has targeted European buyers, some 120 of whom will be in Paris.

However, word on the street is that some American acquisition execs have decided to pay their own way to sneak a look at the latest French offerings.

Twenty-one of the 42 films being screened will be getting their world premieres. UGC, which is a big supporter of the event, has put four new films into the screenings and will be throwing a lavish party Sunday in support of Gabriel Aghion’s costumer “Le Libertin.”

Of the pics that have already been released in France, Eric Valli’s “Himalaya, l’Enfance d’un Chef” is likely to draw attention. Pic is proving to be the first sleeper of 2000, grossing more than $5 million in its first three weeks, mainly due to great word of mouth.

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