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My film festival online film fest by Unifrance

With films from 10 new film directors [first or second film] represented, (Jan 14 – 29) enables viewers around the world to view and vote in this inaugural online film festival under the auspices of UniFrance. Andrew L. Urban of (who will represent Australia on the jury of international critics) reports.

Screenwriter Christopher Thompson’s assured debut feature, Bus Palladium, is one of the 10 films in competition in the inaugural; Thompson has written four films directed by his mother Danièle, including Jet Lag and Orchestra Seats, and has written scripts directed by James Ivory, Giuseppe Tornatore and Agnieszka Holland.

Bus Palladium is about a group of young friends and musos whose newly formed rock group, Lust, is heading for success, but each of them harbours personal aspirations that put their shared future in doubt. The arrival of Laura in their lives destabilizes their fragile equilibrium as both lead singer Manus and lead guitarist Lucas fall for her – and she exploits them both. The film was invited to festivals in Seattle, Montreal and Tel Aviv.

In partnership with French online movie magazine Allociné, Unifrance* has created this event to showcase works by emerging French filmmakers and to reach a wider audience for French films. The festival will be officially launched on January 14, 2011, at the 13th Rendez-Vous with French Cinema held in Paris, an annual event hosted by UniFrance that welcomes over 350 industry professionals and 120 foreign journalists each year.

The films, selected by festival director Régine Hatchondo, the general director of UniFrance with the help of the production committee of Unifrance, will be presented on a paid-for video-on-demand service in their original version subtitled in numerous languages including German, English, Arabic, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian.

Three prizes will be awarded at the close of the festival: an International Press Award, an Audience Award, and a Foreign Bloggers’ Award.

The website will be available from mid-December, allowing web users to view trailers and numerous interviews with artists posted online, free of charge.

Feature films in competition:
• Goodbye Gary Cooper by Nassim Amaouche, with Jean-Pierre Bacri
• Bus Palladium by Christopher Thompson, with Marc-André Grondin
• Complices (Accomplices) by Frédéric Mermoud, with Gilbert Melki and Emmanuelle Devos
• Spy(ies) by Nicolas Saada, with Guillaume Canet and Géraldine Pailhas
• The Wolberg Family by Axelle Ropert, with François Damiens
• The Other One by Patrick-Mario Bernard and Pierre Tridivic, with Dominique Blanc
• All About Actresses by Maïwenn Le Besco, with Karine Viard and Marina Foïs
• Silent Voice by Léa Fehner, with Pauline Etienne
• Turk's Head by Pascal Elbé, with Roschdy Zem and Ronit Elkabetz
• Tout ce qui brille by Géraldine Nakache and Hervé Mimran, with Leïla Bekhti

Short films in competition:
• Babel by Hendrick Dusollier
• Cabossés by Louise Prémonville
• Chienne d'histoire by Serge Avédikian
• C'est gratuit pour les filles by Claire Burger and Marie Amachoukeli
• ¿Dónde está Kim Basinger? by Edouard Deluc
• En attendant que la pluie cesse by Charlotte Joulia
• L'Homme à la Gordini by Jean-Christophe Lie
• Mémoire d’une jeune fille dérangée by Keren Marciano
• Le Petit Dragon by Bruno Collet
• Une pute et un poussin by Clément Michel

Heritage film presented out of competition:
• French Cancan by Jean Renoir (1955), with Jean Gabin

Festival films download prices:
One feature film: 1,99€
One short film: 0,99€
Pack feature films: 9,99€ (10 feature films)
Pack short films: 4,99€ (10 short films)
Pack Full Access : 13,99€ (entire program, each film can be seen 3 times from first screening).

International Jury:
Algeria : El Watan, K.Smaïl
Arab Emirates : Al Bayan, Masoud Amralla Al Ali
Argentina : Clarin, Diego Lerer
Australia : Urban Cinefile, Andrew L. Urban
Brazil : Estado de Sao Paulo, Luiz Carlos Merten
China : media & critic to be confirmed
Germany : Der Spiegel, Lars Olav Beier
Hong Kong : Time Out, Gary Mak
Israel : Haaretz, Uri Klein
Italy : La Repubblica, Maria Pia Fusco
Japan : Kinema Junpo, critic to be confirmed
Mexico : La Jornada, Carlos Bonfil
Poland : Przekroj, critic to be confirmed
Russia : Kommersant, critic be confirmed
South Korea : media to be confirmed
Spain : El Pais, critic to be confirmed
United Kingdom : The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw


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