French TV fest hosts 66 programs

Shows from 30 countries head for Biarritz

PARIS — Gaul’s International Festival of Audiovisual Programs has attracted 66 programs from 30 countries to its 23rd edition, which kicks off Tuesday in Biarritz.

Highlights include Ariane Ascaride’s drama “Ceux qui aiment la France,” which follows an 11-year-old girl of immigrant parents as she struggles with a crisis of identity, and helmer Leonel Vieira’s Portugal-set series “Connection,” about the world of drug trafficking.

Gallic director Benoit Jacquot will be treated to a tribute and a screening of his latest film, Melvil Poupaud starrer “Les Faux monnayeurs,” a 1925-set drama based on Andre Gide’s novel.

The fest also welcomes a new prexy, Olivier Mille, former head of the French Commission for Television Production (Procireb), and Teresa Cavina, who previously served as artistic director of the Locarno and Rome film festivals. Cavina replaces Pierre-Henri Deleau, one of the founding fathers of FIPA.

New this year is a showcase of interactive online drama skeins and documentaries from China, France, Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. “The web is a fascinating arena to explore,” Mille said. “It’s a laboratory for innovation where different genres can merge and we’d like to encourage creators of traditional TV content to look into it.”

Mille also introduces a focus section highlighting a thriving national TV industry. This year’s focus will be on Germany, which is the most prolific producer of fiction in Europe.

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