Isabelle Giordano, the managing director of French film promotion body UniFrance, will be stepping down from the organization in late July to pursue new projects. UniFrance has not yet found a replacement.
During her six years at UniFrance, Giordano helped develop several initiatives to increase the profile of French movies and talent abroad. Serge Toubiana, UniFrance’s president, said Giordano played a significant role in shining a spotlight on French film festivals coordinated by UniFrance in a highly competitive landscape.
Some of Giordano’s accomplishments at the helm of UniFrance include initiatives aimed at giving younger foreign audiences a taste of French movies, such as the launch of the Young French Cinema Program, which was jointly arranged by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S., and the creation of the International Prize of Foreign Students.
A former prominent TV and radio journalist, Giordano also ramped up the program of masterclasses in schools and universities; and revamped several festivals, such as the French Film Festival in Japan which will take place June 20-23 in Yokohama.
“After spending six years defending the interests of French cinema abroad, I will step down from this position with a sense that I fulfilled my mission within a changing industry,” said Giordano.
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She added, “I was happy to shepherd UniFrance through its digital shift in the face of many challenges concerning the distribution and programming of French films.” The executive didn’t reveal where she would go next, but said she intended to pursue her career in a job that will allow her to continue serving the interest of French cinema.
Prior to joining UniFrance, Giordano worked for 20 years as a host and producer of programs about French movies. She spent a decade at Canal Plus where she was editor-in-chief and host of the pay TV channel’s talkshow “Le journal du cinema.” She then hosted film mags on public broadcaster France 2 and later on Franco-German network Arte.
UniFrance, which celebrated its 70th anniversary, this year at the Cannes Film Festival, supports French talent and industry professionals, especially local sales agents. Among the dozens of events put on by UniFrance are the Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in Paris; the Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in New York which is organized in tandem with the Film Society of Lincoln Center; and the French Film Festival in Yokohama.