CULTURE

French Institute’s cultural attache talks about cinematic variety and diversity

«What I find most exciting about this year’s film selection is that it reflects an exceptional variety of what is being produced in France; a healthy production,» said Fanny Aubert-Malaurie, the French Institute’s cultural attache, to Kathimerini English Edition. «I’m interested in this cinematic diversity as well as the fact that the issues these films deal with are universal.» Aubert-Malaurie further noted that the festival included small gems of French cinema, not necessarily blockbuster films. Stressing the festival’s team effort, requiring input from various sources, Aubert-Malaurie talked about the aid of local distributors who have bought and are promoting the French films, some of whom have pushed back opening dates to accommodate the festival. She also spoke about the invaluable aid of Unifrance, the association promoting the French film industry beyond France. «In Greece, we are in Europe, at the edge of Europe, in the heart of the Balkans and looking at the Orient,» said Aubert-Malaurie of the festival’s Balkan initiative. «Distributors from Balkan countries will come to Athens during the festival while after the festival, some of the films will travel to Cyprus, Skopje and Tirana. We are going to establish links, with Romanian distributors and film critics from Bulgaria and Bosnia Herzegovina, for instance, who can see the films and talk to the actors and directors.» And while this new Balkan networking takes off, Greece will continue its steady, good relationship with French film – in 2003 alone, some 30 French feature films were screened at local movie theaters. «The recent success of films like ‘Jeux d’Enfants,’ for instance, somewhat unexpected, proves to me that French film has its place in this country,» said Aubert-Malaurie. And what about Greek films in France? «Obviously Greek cinema in France is known through Theo Angelopoulos and Michalis Cacoyannis, for example, but there have been recent examples such as Panos Koutras’s ‘The Attack of the Giant Moussaka,’ which met with huge success.»