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PARIS – While things typically slow down in Paris over the summer, the city will get a boost of energy when the 10th annual Paris Cinema Festival kicks off in the French capital on Friday. The 12-day ode to French film will this year feature a focus on Hong Kong’s cinema along with a professional sidebar, called the Paris Project.
An international competition will pit 10 indie titles from across the globe against each other to vie for audience and jury prizes. Overall, more than 40 films will premiere with the films’ talents and directors present, including Vanessa Paradis, Kylie Minogue and Juliette Binoche.
In addition, the fest has partnered with the Hong Kong International Film Festival to pay tribute to Hong Kong cinema with screenings of more than 90 films, including a film panorama from 1948 to the present, melodramas from the 1950s and 1960s, ultra-violent “Category III” films, titles from the Hong Kong New Wave and premiere screenings of upcoming releases from the next generation of filmmakers.
“This is first collaboration for the Hong Kong International Film Festival with another film festival and we are very happy to be able to present the depth and breadth of Hong Kong cinema to Paris audiences,” Hong Kong International Film Festival Society executive director Roger Garcia told The Hollywood Reporter. He added: “It’s the largest collected showing of Hong Kong films so far this century and I’m sure will go down as a landmark event.”
The collaboration is supported by Create Hong Kong, Film Development Fund and Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Brussels and will also mark the 15th anniversary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Festival president Charlotte Rampling said the unprecedented initiative will “celebrate the long tradition and amazing creativity of Hong Kong cinema, its artists and its dynamic industry” and called it “a tribute to a major movie capital from another.”
As far as Hong Kong industry biggies go, on Friday, veteran producer and director Johnnie To will head to Paris’ Forum des Images for a “Hong Kong Special Movie Night.” Plus, the fest will honor Ann Hui, Allen Fong, Patrick Tam and Yuen Woo Ping.
Prolific director Raoul Ruiz will also be honored with a posthumous homage to his long career. Ruiz’ last film La Nuit d’en Face will premiere at the festival.
The fest will also honor French art house powerhouse Olivier Assayas with a retrospective of his films and a masterclass with the director.
Paris Cinema IFF will kick off on Friday night at the Forum des Images with techno music master Jeff Mills who will present his own “cine-mix” soundtrack of a restored copy of Andre Sauvage’s Etudes sur Paris. The fest will wrap on July 10th with Loris Greaud’s The Snorks: A Concert for Creatures narrated by David Lynch and Rampling followed by a closing night party at new Parisian hotspot Wanderlust club.
Other quirky festival activities include a “Brocante Cinema” flea market for movie lovers and a “Cine-Karaoke” where guests can sing along to their favorite films.
Also in the musical genre, Adam Shankman’s Rock of Ages will screen as will Disney’s Brave.
Amidst all of the fun, Paris Cinema will get down to business with the parallel Paris Project market now also in its 10th year. Filmmakers and producers from 14 selected projects will spend three days in Paris to look for a French co-production partner and hold one-on-one meetings organized by the festival with professionals interested in the selected projects.
Paris Project is also working close together with HAF, the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum to bring directors and producers from that country to Paris and organize screening sessions of films in postproduction looking for sales agents and/or distributors. A “Taiwan workshop” in partnership with the Taipei Film Commission will give French film professionals the chance to meet producers from Taiwan.
Residents of the Cannes Film Festival’s Cinefondation will also be attending. Paris project will host seminars including “The WWW Seminar: The Three Ws of film financing in Europe: Where, What and Why?” organized by the ACE (Ateliers du Cinema Europeen) and a seminar focused on co-producing in France with the EAVE (European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs).
Paris Cinema runs June 29–July 10.
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