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Beyond the Rhine


Representatives from French and German institutions, and professionals from production and distribution in the two countries are meeting in Lyons today for two days of discussions organised by Unifrance. The aim of the event is to intensify the possibilities of cinematographic exchanges between the two countries. The French-German Appointment was inaugurated by the ministers of culture Jean-Jacques Aillagon and Christina Weiss, and it is taking pace at the Lumière Institute. The whole idea is pulled into focus with a series of precise aims and objectives: to create new cooperation in the realm of production and distribution, to develop contacts and an understanding of the support systems in each of the two countries to enable a common reflection on great European themes.

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This first edition of the French-German Appointments is the third project undertaken by the French German Film Academy since 2000, after the mini-treaty on production support (12 films supported in 2001 and 2002) aimed at bi-lateral productions and the Masterclass which brings together young French and German filmmakers every year at the Filmakademie Ludwigsburg and at Femis.
The two-day programme at Lyons started off with the debate What Europe in the cinema for tomorrow: convergence and divergence points, led by the two ministers of culture, the directors Jean-Jacques Beineix and Jan Schütte, Eberhard Junkersdorf (president of the FFA) and Yves Marmion (UGC YM).
The afternoon discussions will centre around the theme Evolution of Production funding in France and Germany with René Bonnell (France Télévision), Philippe Carcassonne (Ciné B), Peter Herrmann (MTM Filmproduktion), Thilo Kleine (Bavaria Film), Michel Reilhac (ARTE), Alain Rocca (Les Productions Lazennec) and Gabriela Sperl (Bayerischer Rundfunk).
On November 4, the Overview of French-German exchange will see contributions from David Kessler (the director general of the CNC), Margaret Menegoz (producer and distributor from Les Films du Losange – and president of Unifrance), Rolf Bähr (FFA), Alfred Hürmer, (Export Union), Michael Schmid-Ospach (Filmstiftung NRW), Roger Planchon (Rhône-Alpes Cinéma) and Michael Weber (Ventes internationales Bavaria). The Appointment will close with a round table debate about Distribution prospects in France and Germany with participation by Fabienne Vonier (Pyramide), Johannes Klingsporn (Verband deutscher Filmverleiher), Stephan Hutter (Prokino), Vincent de la Tour (Twentieth Century Fox of Germany) and José Covo (UFD).

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(Translated from French)

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