Paris Rendez-Vous Market So Far Unscathed By Local Strike Action Say UniFrance & French Sales Agents


Rendez-Vous with French Cinema (January 16-20), the annual Paris showcase of upcoming French movies, looks set to go ahead without major disruption despite the continued wave of transport strikes across France, according to organizer Unifrance.

A spokesperson for the French cinema promotion org said that because all aspects of the Rendez-Vous were contained in the same area, including the market and screenings, it should not be unduly affected and that they are “keeping fingers crossed” for a smooth event.

The train and rail strikes erupted after the French government’s proposed reforms to pension schemes. Since the industrial action began on December 5, the country has seen widespread disruption including on its high-speed rail network and the Paris metro. The Eurostar, the train line which connects London and the French capital, has also seen cancellations.

French public transport operator RATP continues to warn that travel in the capital remains “very disrupted” on its Twitter feed. Travel across the city is certainly a bigger headache than usual.

The 22nd edition of the Rendez-Vous will get underway on January 16 with the market premiere screening of Martin Provost’s How To Be A Good Wife, starring Juliette Binoche, who will be in attendance alongside the director and co-star Noémie Lvovsky.

‘How To Be A Good Wife’ Carole Bethuel - Les Films du Kiosque

The comedy-drama, set in the 1960s, stars Binoche as the head of an all-girls school in a small French town where pupils are trained to be perfect housewives. Memento Films International handles sales.

Memento’s VP Sales & Marketing Mathieu Delaunay told Deadline that he also did not expect the strikes to impact their film or the wider event.

“Every venue is very close and accessible by walking distance,” he said, adding that they were expecting a full house for the opening night screening.

Other French sellers quizzed about potential disruption said they thought the event’s convenient arrangement and smooth organization meant it would weather the strikes.

In total there will be 184 French productions and co-productions presented at this year’s Rendez-Vous.

Organizers said that 389 international buyers are expected to attend, including distributors, VOD buyers, and TV buyers, as well as 30 exhibitors from 49 countries, 44 sales companies, 115 international journalists from 32 countries, and more than 100 French actors and directors.

The opening Rendez-Vous press conference on January 16 will also see figures announced for the performance of French films internationally in 2019, as well as a report on French films at international festivals and on SVOD services.

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