A new strategy for Unifrance

2021 will have been a historic year. For a year opens a new chapter in the collective history of Unifrance, thus giving new impetus to the unified association. This expansion allows the association to be more than ever a real strike force in the service of works and soft-power French, to promote the artistic and cultural ideal shared by the two sectors.

For French cinema and audiovisual creation, 2021 has been fruitful: Palme d’Or at Cannes with Titane by Julia Ducournau, Best comedy work at the Emmy Awards in New York for the series Ten percentGolden Lion in Venice for Audrey Diwan’s Event…

Unifrance’s new governance brings together more than 1,000 members within it, producers, exporters and artists from both sectors – cinema and audiovisual -, covering the great diversity of our creation – short and feature films, audiovisual works, documentaries, animation, series, VR…

“This new Unifrance is better suited to the current situation in cinema and audiovisual. It is a very noble mission because we are fortunate to live in a country with artistic and cultural strength, where cinema and audiovisual occupy a primordial place in the public and political field. Our country produces and welcomes many foreign authors who do not have the means to make films and works in their countries.

In both sectors, battles remain to be waged around freedom and independence, with the idea that we all have of French creation, in an economic and industrial context that is constantly shifting, under the economic pressure of globalized platforms.” Serge Toubiana, President.

These last two years, which have been marked by a global epidemic of unprecedented scale, have cast a lot of uncertainty on the future of our sectors; in particular for the cinema, weakened by the successive closures of cinemas. Unifrance has thus adapted its support to exhibitors around the world, in particular the self-employed and will strengthen this action in the months to come, in constant dialogue with professionals.

The movie theater

2021 counted 17.5 million admissions for French films in theaters internationally, with Le Tour du monde en 80 jours, an animated film by Samuel Tourneux, as the figurehead. Gradually, cinemas around the world are reuniting with their audiences and some are returning to their 2019 attendance levels especially in South Korea or the Netherlands. Germany, Italy, Spain are more struggling. The United Kingdom is revitalized around promising Anglo-Saxon films, but we can also note the great success of Petite Maman by Céline Sciamma with 45,000 admissions. In the United States, the film has also recorded nearly 100,000 admissions. As for the film Eiffel by Martin Bourboulon, it is off to a good start. The Rendez-Vous With French Cinema in New York festival, organized by Unifrance and Film at Lincoln Center, was busy last March. It has experienced a marked renewal of its audience.

For 2022, in view of the admissions of French films in the world at the end of May, we can expect a 50% increase in attendance compared to last yearand in 2023 the films Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Empire by Guillaume Canet and The Three Musketeers by Martin Bourboulon are eagerly awaited internationally.

The French offer on the platforms

In 2021, French films are the 3e most represented cinematography on subscription video-on-demand platforms with 4.8% of their catalogs, behind American and Indian productions. For example, released exclusively on Netflix, far from the ring road by Louis Leterrier, with Omar Sy and Laurent Lafitte, is already the 5e most viewed non-English language film since the platform was created. France is the 1e most viewed non-English speaking cinematography on Netflix in the second half of 2021.

Another success, in April 2022, the series HPI has accumulated nearly 175 million views worldwide in the 90 territories where it has been exported.

“The new audiovisual landscape with the massive arrival of platforms has made the export professions terribly complex at the legal and technical level in the sale of rights, because there are many more distribution channels. This is a tremendous opportunity and it is reflected in the audiovisual export figures.” Hervé Michel, Vice-President.

French animation: the emblematic genre of soft-power French

While the Annecy International Animation Film Festival is in full swing, France can be proud of being the first European producer in this field and the 3e at the World level. Animation is the first “gender” to export with 38% of program sales and 26 million euros in revenue from world rights in 2020. The French influence in animation is the result of a virtuous model that combines internationally recognized schools, studios of excellence, talented artists and authors, involved television channels, and undeniable public support.

Audiovisual and cinema fusion in practice

The merger enabled Unifrance to restructure with a team of around fifty employees, and new members. Unifrance is now a common house for two sectors, with shared objectives and values, while maintaining two distinct bases, for cinema and audiovisual, in order to meet their specific needs. From 2022, Unifrance has also pooled and developed cross-functional actions.

For the 24th consecutive year, the association organized the Unifrance meeting in Parislargest market and press junket in the world devoted to movie theater and, for the first time, French audiovisual.

Digital communication tools have been pooled : Unifrance adopted a new graphic charter at the beginning of the year, as well as a joint newsletter, and the social networks have been reorganized.

Currently, the association is working on the development of a common database and professional directories, a new viewing tool that is more flexible and adapted to the constraints of audiovisual and cinema, and is starting to redesign its site. Internet for professionals as well as for the general public.

Economic Intelligence

With its team of experts and regional managers, Unifrance will continue to be this observatory of the economic vitality of the two sectors on the international scene alongside the CNC and to be the first source of information in figures, studies and analyzes in the years to come. It seems essential to improve the evaluation tools on the economic data of audiovisual export, this project is a priority.

The recovery plan to support Unifrance’s new ambition in terms of stock diversification and digital strategy.

Unifrance benefited from an exceptional allocation of three million euros from the CNC intended to support and secure its merger strategy both to develop new distribution actions and a new editorial policy for digital content.

Alongside ongoing projects on new digital tools, Unifrance must become a true generalist and institutional media serving professionals and international audiences, in addition to the work done by film-by-film distributors; and this in order to support the desire for cinema and audiovisual creation, to work on the image of French creativity with audiences around the world.

The association works to redefine a clear and readable editorial strategy according to the targeted media and targets with the development of its channel youtubequi must be strengthened and editorialized, almost relinearized, with diversified, regular and anticipated appointments. This Youtube channel will be the entry point of this new dynamic for the benefit of the activity of our members and the soft power by relying on authors, creators and artists and all those who contribute to the success and influence of French production.

Actions to come

Actions abroad will be deployed in the coming months as a priority in Europe (Italy, Spain and Germany). Thanks to its offices in United Statesin China and at JapanUnifrance is also developing actions and events in these key territories.

The Rendez-vous d’Unifrance will take place in Paris in January 2023 and in Biarritz in September 2022. 250 buyers are already expected in September in the Basque Country.

Meetings abroad: Rome (April 2022), Madrid (June 2022), Berlin (November 2022), New York (March 2022) and Yokohama (December 2022) ensure the French cinematographic and audiovisual anchorage in these countries with screenings in the presence of the artistic and production teams.

MyFrenchFilmFestivalthe first French-language online film festival will take place in January and February 2023 for the thirteenth consecutive year.

At the same time, Unifrance is stepping up its support around genres that cross both sectors (animation, documentary, genre film) to promote the great plurality of French creation.

“There is a real desire for French cinema and audiovisual. What must be achieved is that the diversity of the works be valued in its entirety. Unifrance is the collective tool that works where each professional cannot go in isolation.

We have a European duty. We need a strong Europe, and a strong Europe needs a strong European culture. The better European cinema and audiovisual are doing, the more it will be beneficial to French creation.

Unifrance does not hesitate to broaden its fields of action, to open up to European creations, new technologies and new uses. The task is as demanding as it is exciting, and we have a responsibility to meet these challenges in order to perpetuate the place of choice of French creation in the world.” Daniela Elstner, Managing Director.

Author : Communication

Last update : June 27, 2022 at 12:29 PM CEST

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A new strategy for Unifrance