Producer will help drive French exports

PARIS — Unifrance, Gaul’s leading org for promoting French cinema worldwide, has elected veteran producer Antoine de Clermont-Tonnerre as its next president.

De Clermont-Tonnerre is co-founder with wife Martine of French shingle Mact Productions, producers and co-producers of a wide array of international titles, including Brazil’s “Central Station,” Polish helmer Jan Jakub Kolski’s “Pornography,” and “Lemon Tree” and “The Syrian Bride,” both by Israeli director Eran Riklis.

A former adviser to French prime minister Raymond Barre in the late 1970s, de Clermont-Tonnerre headed TV and film services provider SFP, and was CEO of publishers Editions Mondiales before founding Mact in 1992.

Effective immediately, de Clermont-Tonnerre takes over from producer Margaret Menegoz, Unifrance president since 2003.

De Clermont-Tonnere will now have the final say on Unifrance policy, but only after long consultation with four committees, repping talent, producers, sales agents and short film producers.

Key challenges for Unifrance include how to increase penetration of emerging markets, such as Brazil, where Unifrance will repeat an annual French film festival, India, China and Russia, where admissions for French films have grown spectacularly, to 7.2 million spectators last year.

John Hopewell contributed to this report.

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