'Reaching out to younger audiences'
by Régine Hatchondo
Faced with the predominance of US cinema and the growing difficulty for French films to get access to movie theatres worldwide, UniFrance Films is more than ever in early 2012 counting on the new media to showcase and introduce people to French cinema in all its forms: the second edition of the online festival myfrenchfilmfestival in January, the launch of a digital platform dedicated to short films, the Short Film Gallery, on the website unifrance.org and, finally, the creation of the first free-of-charge, trilingual iPhone application Le Cinéma Français aimed at both mainstream film enthusiasts and professionals, in France and abroad.
The aim of these three digital developments is to reach out to younger audiences and fuel a wider appetite for French cinema all over the world. Indeed, in the past few years, we’ve noticed that our audience corresponds to an urban niche that is struggling to renew itself. Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Alain Delon, and the directors of the New Wave are consistently mentioned when foreigners are asked about French cinema. While we’re keen to preserve this rich cinematic heritage, we also try to bring about the emergence of a new generation of authors and artists through numerous targeted initiatives. It’s essential for our long-lasting presence in movie theatres internationally, for being able to access multiplexes and get beyond mere programming in arthouse theatres, which are valuable allies but are nonetheless weakened in the current economic situation. One of the next challenges for French cinema will perhaps be to find a way of getting closer to movie theatres in order to help them.
(Régine Hatchondo, Managing director of UniFrance)
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