UniFrance, Miami Festival’s Third Mercado Lures Top Latin American Distributors, French Sales Agents

Variety | 3/17/2018 | Elsa Keslassy
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Top Latin American distributors ranging from Brazil’s Imovision to Mexico’s Cinepolis and Colombia’s Babilla Cine flocked to the third edition of the Mercado del Cine Frances, a mini-market jointly launched by promotion organization UniFrance and Miami Film Festival.

Spearheaded by UniFrance’s executives Gilles Renouard and Delphine Martin, the three-day initiative which kicked off March 10, was created to connect French sales agents from key banners such as Studiocanal, Gaumont, Playtime, Bac Films, Pyramide, Charades and Loco Films, with Latin American distributors outside of a major festival to forge ties and encourage dealmaking.

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Like other initiatives organized by UniFrance in Paris, New York, Seoul and Tokyo, several French films were showcased as part of the event, including Xavier Legrand’s “Custody,” Michel Hazanavicius’s “Redoutable” (pictured), Marc Dugain’s “The Royal Exchange,” Olivier Ayache-Vidal’s “The Teacher” and Agnes Jaoui’s “Place Publique.”

Jaie Laplante, Miami film festival’s executive director and director of programming, pointed out, “French cinema has strong roots in Latin America,” and said the collaboration with UniFrance has “allowed the festival to develop deeper relationships with French sales agents who come here to show their slate and in turn we are able to attract the biggest Latin American distributors.”

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Laplante added that French cinema culture was beloved in Miami, a Francophile city between U.S. and Latin America and whose Hispanic population continues to increase.

Last year, French movies grossed an estimated 36 million euros from 10.5 million tickets sold across 18 Latin American territories, driven not only by English-language fare such as Luc Besson’s “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” but also comedies like “Un Profil Pour Deux” with Pierre Richard and edgy genre pics such as Julia Ducournau’s “Raw,” according to a report compiled by UniFrance.

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