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A Personal Homage to An Exciting Paris Film Event

A Personal Homage to An Exciting Paris Film Event

Last week in Paris we were amazed (and hosted) by the Champs Elysee Film Festival during their mid June event. Organized, founded and headed up by the
indefatigable Sophie Dulac I think this event holds an important place for indie filmmakers of all countries today.

Mainly French but also European trade attended and the filmmakers
got the unique chance to have one on one sessions with buyers and sales
companies who had
seen their projects.
I am impressed because this connection – filmmakers to trade – is so
very hard at the always great (but huge!!) events such as Cannes. For
me marketing and
connecting to the trade – buyers and sellers – is almost as
important for a filmmaker as making a great film (and this of course
always the number 1
My basic question always to filmmakers is this – Considering the
huge amount of films now made annually how do you intend to raise your
head above the mass
(of product) to reach your audience?
It struck me that reasonably sized (even small) events such as this
Fest (and its amazing daily evening networking gatherings) is a very
important way to
go for indie filmmakers.
The large LARGE events dominate attention these days but quality
smaller events such as this one I think may offer different and even
more rewards
(networking, deals, etc) for many producers.
In France weeks apart I attended Cannes Film Festival and its Marche
du Film and then later Champs Elysee. Both are wonderful and the
careful serious
producer needs to evaluate for each production how they will use
such promising venues to advance their business goals and find their
Two events in particular stood out at Champs Elysee FF.
These were:
US in Progress
My partner Sydney Levine sat on the jury for this very interesting section of the Champs Elysee Film Festival.
US in Progress is a joint initiative between the American Film Festival in Wroclaw, Poland, the Champs-Élysées Film Festival (June 11-17, 2014) in
Paris and Black Rabbit Film, created in 2011.
It is the first professional event dedicated to independent American films that are still in post-production. The goal of the event is for film-makers
to show their work to potential European buyers in order to encourage their distribution and broadcast across Europe.
US in Progress takes place twice a year during two festivals: once in Paris, in June and once in Wroclaw, in October.
So, the question is relevant –
Why create an event in favor of the American cinema in Europe?
The founders reply –
There is no doubt in anybody’s mind that today the European market is dominated by American films. But by American films we generally mean big budget
films produced by big studios. These films are no doubt entertaining, but they only reflect a portion of what the US is all about. Outside of the big
studios, there is a dynamic and interesting group of people making independent films but struggling to find distributors abroad. Independent
productions often lack an efficient international strategy and European buyers are mostly unaware of the films being produced.
Thus, US in Progress aims at building new bridges between today’s up-and-coming generation of talented American filmmakers and European buyers. In a
word, we want to present the new faces of the US cinema to the European market.
The selection committee made up of the Champs-Élysées Film Festival/American Film Festival Wroclaw/Black Rabbit Film selects 4-5 films for each US in
Progress. The selected feature films are presented to a panel of over 40 potential sellers, buyers, distributors, festivals and European producers. The
films presented at US in Progress are feature films produced by well-known producers/directors as much as emerging ones.
These past two years, US in Progress Paris has received over 80 projects.
The second event that impressed me was –

This event is dedicated to international co-productions.

Les Arcs European Film Festival and Champs-Élysées Film Festival
launched a partnership and created PARIS COPRODUCTION VILLAGE which was
held on June
PARIS COPRODUCTION VILLAGE is a new platform for the development
and the funding of selected feature films from around the world. It is
organized by
Les Arcs European Film Festival and the Champs-Élysées Film
Festival. The goal of the two-day event is to encourage the Fest
attending European film
industry to get involved in international co-productions.
For two days, 12 to 15 international projects looking to build a
French or European co-production were presented to producers,
international sellers,
distributors, backers, representatives of regional funds and
Moreover, the 6 residents of the Cinéfondation of the Cannes Festival were also involved in the selection.
Participants took part in private meetings, networking events,
and seminars chaired by major figures of the cinema industry.
For more details about the selected projects please see the website at

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