Besson's EuropaCorp hires fest's ousted artistic topper

PARIS — Francois Da Silva, the ousted artistic topper of Cannes film fest sidebar Directors Fortnight, has landed a tailor-made job at Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp.

Da Silva took up the newly created job of artistic adviser at the beginning of October. His duties will involve “establishing the editorial line while focusing his research on international cinematography,” the company said Wednesday.

It’s quite a turn up for the relatively unknown arthouse programmer who was thrust into the limelight as artistic director of Directors Fortnight last year, only to be cast aside less than eight months later.

Da Silva had only had one crack at the selection before the Societe des Realisateurs de Films, which created the sidebar and picks its artistic topper, named another newcomer, cinematheque programmer Olivier Pere, back in July.

“We tried Da Silva; it didn’t work out,” helmer Pascal Thomas, president of the SRF, told Daily Variety at the time.

In a bitter statement, Da Silva complained that he was “appalled by the disdain for a job accomplished.”

Pere is the third artistic topper in as many years — Da Silva’s predecessor, Marie-Pierre Macia, was fired.

Industryites believe Da Silva’s appointment indicates a shift at EuropaCorp as it establishes itself as a purveyor of arthouse films as well as commercial fare like “Kiss of the Dragon.”

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