Paris preps for 10th film Rendez-Vous

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PARIS -- Though the holiday season celebrations are barely over, state-run French film promotion organization Unifrance already is planning to fete the 10th Anniversary of its Rendez-Vous with French Cinema next week, organizers said Thursday.

The annual Rendez-Vous, set to kick off Jan. 10, will bring 350 distributors and 140 foreign journalists to the French capital for four days of screenings, meetings and deal making.

Reps from 29 countries will be in attendance, including first-timers Algeria, Brazil, Croatia, Romania and Taiwan. French sales agents will screen their films for the mostly European group of foreign distributors at the Market set up at the Rendez-Vous headquarters in the Grand Hotel.

More than 80 screenings are planned for this year's market, "a record that reflects the great diversity of French production," Unifrance said in a statement. Short films also will be screened for the first time ever.

"For four days, the Grand Hotel becomes a privileged place of discoveries, exchanges and negotiations for film lovers," organizers said.

A massive press junket will allow foreign journalists to interview Gallic artists and see films that won't hit international theaters for months.

Attendees also will be treated to gala screenings of Gilles Legrand's family drama "The Maiden and the Wolves," starring Laetitia Casta and Jean-Paul Rouve, as well as Guillaume Ivernel and Arthur Qwak's fantasy adventure story "Dragon Hunters."

Unifrance has partnered with the city's Lumiere Awards, the "French Golden Globes," for a lavish closing night cruise on the Seine on Jan. 13 following the awards presentation.

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