Gotham’s annual French film festival, Rendez-Vous With French Cinema, has teamed with digital alternate-content distributor Emerging Pictures for an initiative that will see some of the fest’s titles screened in about 50 venues around the country at the same time that the films unspool in New York.

Among the 17th annual fest’s just-announced slate of Gallic fare, pics including Mathieu Amalric’s “The Screen Illusion,” Daniel Auteuil’s “The Well-Digger’s Daughter” and Alain Cavalier’s “Pater” will be screened as part of the digital expansion program, with question-and-answer sessions from the fest also screened live in some theaters.

Move reps the latest example of a local film fest using the digital arena to expand the footprint of its brand. In recent years, for instance, Tribeca Film Festival has organized concurrent online screenings for some pics on its lineup.

The 2012 edition of Rendez-Vous, presented by Film Society of Lincoln Center (the org also behind the New York Film Festival) and government-sponsored French film promoter Unifrance Films, opens with the Gallic comedy hit “The Intouchables” — an upcoming U.S. release from the Weinstein Co. — and will showcase films including Benoit Jacquot’s “Farewell to the Queen,” Lucas Belvaux’s “38 Witnesses” and Andre Techine’s “Unforgivable.”

Marcel Carne’s 1945 pic “Children of Paradise” receives a centerpiece screening in a newly restored print, and the fest closes with Audrey Tautou topliner “Delicacy.”

Fest events also include a short film lineup and a couple of screenings as part of a tribute to French film mag Positif.

Rendez-Vous with French Cinema runs March 1-11 at the Film Society, IFC Center and the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAMcinematek.