Rendez-Vous pumps up pacts, profile

U.S distribs nearing domestic deals for nine pics

NEW YORK — The seventh annual Rendez-Vous With French Cinema ended Sunday, with attendance and acquisitions activity sharply increased from previous years.

“This is the first year that every single show at Rendez-Vous With French Cinema sold out across the board,” said Joanne Koch, executive director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

U.S distribs are nearing domestic distribution deals for nine pics. First to close will be Jacques Audiard’s “Read My Lips,” which nascent shingle Magnolia is negotiating to buy. The other eight pics in play are Pascale Bailly’s “God Is Great, I’m Not,” Josee Dayan’s “Cet Amour-la,” Yamina Benguigui’s “Inch’Allah Sunday,” Etienne Chatiliez’s “Tanguy,” Coline Serreau’s “Chaos,” Christian Carion’s “The Girl From Paris,” Claude Miller’s “Betty Fisher” and Benoit Jacquot’s “Tosca.”

Before the event got under way, Wellspring nabbed Olivier Assayas’ “Les Destinees” for U.S. distribution.

Event, presented by the French Society of Lincoln Center and Unifrance as well as the French Film Office and the French Cultural Services, has steadily risen in profile and significance over the past seven years, with an increasing number of Gallic filmmakers, producers, actors and sales agents attending.

This year, Emmanuelle Beart and Isabelle Huppert, stars of “Les Destinees,” made an appearance, as did Emmanuelle Devos, star of “Read My Lips” and winner of the 2002 Cesar for her performance in the pic.

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