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Unifrance is an organization dedicated to promoting French cinema worldwide

It was founded in 1949 as an association under the French 1901 Act, and operates under the supervision of the CNC - Centre National de la Cinématographie.

Unifrance currently has around 600 members, including feature film and short film producers, sales agents, directors, actors, authors (screenwriters), and talent agents.


2008 Lumiere Awards

Foreign media representatives based in Paris gathered at the Académie des Lumières to present the 2008 Lumiere Awards honoring the year’s most outstanding achievements in French and francophone films.


Paris, January 20, 2009. Foreign media representatives based in Paris gathered together at the Académie des Lumières last night, presented the 2008 Lumiere Awards, France’s answer to the Golden Globes, in recognition of outstanding achievement in the French and French-language film industry over the past year. With the actress Jeanne Balibar as the ceremony’s president, and hosted by TV5Monde journalist Estelle Martin, the event was held at the Paris City Hall, with an audience of journalists and film industry figures who offered a vibrant tribute to the recently deceased actor Guillaume Depardieu.


2008 Lumiere Awards
Best Film – Entre les murs (The Class) by Laurent Cantet
Best Director – François Dupeyron for Aide toi, le ciel t’aidera (With a Little Help from Myself)
Best Screenplay – Samuel Benchetrit for J’ai toujours rêvé d’être un gangster (I Always Wanted to Be a Gangster) by Samuel Benchetrit
Best Actor – Vincent Cassel for Mesrine by Jean-François Richet
Best Actress – Yolande Moreau for Séraphine by Martin Provost
Best Female Newcomer –Nora Arnezeder Faubourg 36 (Paris 36) by Christophe Barratier
Best Male Newcomer – Mohamed Bouchaïb for Mascarades (Masquerades) by Lyes Salem
Best Francophone Film – Le Silence de Lorna (Lorna’s Silence) by Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne (France, Belgium, Italy)
TV5Monde World Audience Award– Entre les murs (The Class) by Laurent Cantet (France)
CST (Technical Sound and Image Commission) Special Prize – Agnès Godard, director of photography, for her outstanding contribution to the industry.

An international vision highly beneficial to French cinema

According to Christian Rioux, President of the Académie des Lumières, "Over the years, these awards given to French-language films by international press representatives based in Paris have made a vital contribution to the industry. They offer an international view of film production from France and around the world in the French language.”
In the words of Jeanne Balibar, "I have always found the views of foreign journalists concerning our films particularly helpful, inspiring thought and reflection […] and I am honored to have the privilege of presiding over this ceremony, during which they will share their tastes and preferences for 2008 with us.”
In addition to foreign press representatives based in Paris, the Lumiere Awards also welcomed this year, for the second time, a large contingent of journalists from Europe and the United States who were in Paris to attend the Rendez-Vous With French Cinema event organized by Unifrance.

This awards ceremony was organized by the Académie des Lumières, which was founded in 1995 at the initiative of Daniel Toscan du Plantier and the American journalist Edward Behr.
The following organizations were partners in the event: the Centre national de la Cinématographie (CNC), Unifrance, the City of Paris, TV5Monde, the French Union of Film Critics (Syndicat français de la critique de cinéma, SFCC), the Quebec Society for the Development of Cultural Enterprises (Société de développement des entreprises culturelles du Québec, Sodec), and the Technical Image and Sound Commission (Commission supérieure technique de l’image et du son, CST).


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