The Grandmaster Zhang Ziyi

The trade show regroups four events organized by seven French orgs to promote local talents and locations and lure foreign shoots.

PARIS– The Ile de France Film Commission is joining forces with six other Gallic film orgs to launch the Paris Images Trade Show, a label dedicated to promoting French talent in all film and audiovisual-related fields through four different events.

The umbrella groups the Ile de France Film Commission, the AFC Association of French Cinematographers, the IDIFF Intl. Digital Film Forum, the Dream Industry, an film industry craft meet, the CST, a guild for post-production employees, the FICAM French technicians guild, and Film France, the country’s national film commission.

Unspooling between late January and late February, the four events featured by the Paris Images Trade Show are the Dream Industry, running Jan. 26-31; the IDIFF for vfx, post-production and animation technicians (Jan. 28-29); the Micro-Salon for cinematographers (Feb. 7-8); and the Ile de France Location Expo (Feb.13-14).

The initiative, greenlit and backed by the CNC, France’s national board, gives the seven French orgs a JOINT communications and marketing budget ranging from $50,000 to $68,000.

“The Paris Image Trade Show will be a meeting point for professionals from around the world and French cinema talents; and as we see with James Gray hiring Darius Khondji (a Paris-based Iranian cinematographer), or Pierre Buffin’s BUF winning the Golden Horse for best visual effects on Wong Kar Wai’s “The Grandmaster”(pictured above), Hollywood and Asian producers need our talents,” Ile de France Film Commission’s managing director Olivier-Rene Veillon told Variety.

The launch was unveiled a few days after the French Parliament voted to increase the cap of the Tax Rebate For International Production from $13.7 million to $27.4 million for foreign shoots spending a minimum of $1.3 million on French soil.

Gaul’s main rival for luring foreign productions remains the U.K. where the tax rebate program was just improved to better accommodate vfx and animation productions. 

“British talents tend to cater mostly to Hollywood movies, whereas our big advantage in France is that our industry has already proved, through the diversity of our production landscape, that it’s fully open to world cinema,” said Veillon.  “That’s a plus for foreign productions, in particular those heading from China, which now represent a significant portion of films we’re working on in France.”

On top of its iconic locations, Gaul’s biggest draw for international productions is its vibrant vfx and animation biz. Chris Meledandri-produced “Despicable Me” and its sequel, “Despicable Me 2” – made entirely at Paris-based Illumination MacGuff – grossed over a combined $1.4 billion. 

John Hopewell contributed to this report.

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