The Ambassador of Film
12/02/2003 - See our video interview with to Patrice Chéreau
See our video interview to Pascal Bonitzer
France is a country in mourning for the sudden death, on 11 February, of film producer and president of Unifrance, Daniel Toscan du Plantier.
Tributes from every part of French society, from the film industry all the way to the highest echelons of politics are flooding in for this man whose talent, stature and above all charisma transcended his chosen profession and influenced French society. French President, Jacques Chirac called Toscan du Plantier “one of the most talented men of French cinema. Hugely intelligent, gifted with a sense of humour, he was a man who cared about dialogue whilst remaining true to his beliefs. He was extremely good at convincing people but also very sensitive. Daniel Toscan du Plantier dedicated his life to defend art and artists.”
Jean-Jacques Aillagon, the French minister for culture said, “Toscan du Plantier was a talented producer who put himself at the disposal of great filmmakers” . The Minister was keen to underline Toscan du Plantier’s “tireless commitment as the head of Unifrance to create awareness of and circulate French films all over the world.”
David Kessler, the head of the CNC said he was “heartbroken... the death of Daniel Toscan du Plantier creates an immense void in French cinema”.
The news of the producer’s death hit every sector of the French industry with the force of an earthquake. “I am literally wiped out... he was an exceptional man,” said Alain Delon. “An extraordinary ambassador for French cinema,” said Jean-Claude Brialy, “a formidable disseminator of ideas” according to Bertrand Tavernier, “a man who loved cinema and contributed to creating it also with a number of crazy ideas” according to film director and president of ARP (Authors, Directors, Producers) Coline Serreau. The shock wave Toscan du Plantier’s death continues to gain momentum because he was, in the words of former culture minister Jack Lang: “the archetypal film man”.
(Translated from French)