Producer to serve another two years as Unifrance prexy

Antoine de Clermont-Tonnerre was re-elected Friday as president of Gallic pic export org Unifrance. He will serve a second two-year mandate at the state-financed institution.

The producer of films by Walter Salles (“Central Station”), Goran Paskaljevic (“Someone Else’s America”) and Eran Riklis (“The Syrian Bride”), De Clermont-Tonnerre fought off a stiff challenge from Carole Scotta of production-distribution company Haut et Court.

The Unifrance election polled the 50 members of its management committee. De Clermont-Tonnerre won over voters arguing he needed two more years to see through the work he’d already begun.

His priority going forward, he told Daily Variety, will be, without abandoning other countries, to focus on France’s strongest foreign markets, such as Europe, North America, Japan and Australia.

“These are territories where we have strong competition but where French sales companies really make their profits,” De Clermont-Tonnerre said.

Unifrance will attempt to increase the presence of French talent in the U.S., both at universities and outside Los Angeles and New York. “A sales policy depends not only on the act of selling, but also a presence in a foreign country and a desire to see French films and talent,” De Clermont-Tonnerre argued.

Unifrance also looks set to step up its pioneering experiments in digital distribution.

On Jan. 14, it launched My French Film Festival, an online fest showcasing 10 features and shorts from emerging directors. It also plans a short film digital library.

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