Helmer Jean-Paul Salome has been elected prexy of French state-financed film promotion org Unifrance, after an eight-year run at the helm of ARP, the guild repping writers, directors and producers.

Elected for a two-year mandate, Salome takes over from producer Antoine de Clermont-Tonnerre, who has topped the org since 2009.

Unifrance polled the 50 members of its management committee.

“Jean-Paul (Salome) brings to Unifrance his energy, passion and ability to rally support within the industry to serve its best interests. During his run at ARP we saw how skilled he was at lobbying and appealing to political powers in Paris and Brussels,” said Cecile Gaget, head of Gaumont Intl. and former VP of the ADEF, the French film export org.

One of ARP’s missions for the past few years was to raise the tax rebate for local productions, which pols approved in late 2012.

Known for undertaking film projects with strong international appeal, Salome’s most notable directing credits include period drama “Arsene Lupin,” based on the classic detective novels, starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Romain Duris and Eva Green; and WWII drama “Female Agents” (Les Femmes de l’ombre), toplining Sophie Marceau and Deborah Francois (“Populaire”).

Salome made his English-language debut in 2010 with “The Chameleon,” a thriller starring Marc-Andre Grondin, Ellen Barkin and Famke Janssen.