Carole Bouquet graces the red carpet at the Gala Opening of the Societe Generale Private Banking 1st Rendezvous with French Cinema

Singapore, 7 December 2011 – Iconic French actress Carole Bouquet headlines the opening ceremony of the Societe Generale Private Banking 1st Rendezvous With French Cinema as she leads a delegation of French artists down the red carpet tonight. Internationally renowned for her role in the 1981 James Bond movie, For Your Eyes Only and with over 40 films to her credit, Carole Bouquet’s presence adds gravitas to the Festival and signals the growing importance of the Asian region for the French film industry. As the biggest producer of films in Europe with an output of over 200 feature films annually, the French film industry is set to increase its audience reach and distribution network in Asia through events such as the Societe Generale Private Banking 1st Rendezvous With French Cinema.

From 8 to 13 December 2011, the Festival features 16 new films and a retrospective of five films paying homage to Carole Bouquet. It also brings to Singapore a large and diverse delegation of French actors, directors and sales agents to participate in the film screenings as well as industry sessions at the Asia Television Forum (ATF), a partner of the Societe Generale Private Banking 1st Rendezvous With French Cinema. As Asia’s leading content market, the partnership with ATF provides the platform for industry professionals from France and the Asian region to meet and network. “Having built a strong following for French cinema over the years, we feel that the time is right to introduce to Singapore a regional French film festival that will feature the latest releases, with an industry element included. We hope that through the Festival and its partnership with ATF, we will be able to develop a stronger following and greater market interest for French films in the region,” says H.E Olivier Caron, French Ambassador to Singapore.

For ATF, the Festival adds a touch of French allure and artistry to one of the most established trade events on the Asian TV and film industry calendar. “We are delighted to partner UniFrance to enhance ATF's content offerings and add some glamour for the media industry executives who have gathered in Singapore this week for ATF and the Societe Generale Private Banking 1st Rendezvous With French Cinema. The collaboration is a win-win strategic alignment, as ATF provides a seamless trade extension for the delegation of French film distributors to showcase their latest films and promote the appreciation of French cinematic artistry among Asian content buyers and film distributors,” says Ms Michelle Lim, Managing Director of Reed Exhibitions, the organiser of ATF.

Among the many professional networking opportunities at the ATF is the plenary session on the topic of successful East-West Co-production involving both French and Singapore producers. An example of such a co-production featured as part of the Festival, is the film Gibier d’élévage (Shiiku), by renowned Cambodian director, Rithy Panh and co-produced by producers from France, Cambodia and Singapore. The film is an adaptation of a novel by Japanese author, Nobel laureate, Kenzaburo Oe.

The prominent French artistic delegation in attendance also lends an air of glamour to the Festival. Walking down the red carpet together with Carole Bouquet are film directors, Stéphane Rybojad, Rémi Bezançon, Fred Cavayé, Rithy Panh, Ismaël Ferroukhi, Gilles Paquet-Brenner, actor-director Mathieu Demy and actor Pio Marmaï. They will also be presenting their films and fielding questions from audiences at the Festival screenings.

For the Festival’s Title Sponsor, Societe Generale Private Banking, bringing a high-quality film festival to Singapore with a significant delegation of French celebrities is very much in line with the sponsorship of the Cannes Film Festival by its Head Office. The Societe Generale Private Banking 1st Rendezvous With French Cinema offers a relevant, refined and innovative artistic platform that is perfectly aligned with the interests of all high net worth individual clients. The private bank’s sponsorship of the Festival is a natural extension of its long support of the Asian arts scene. Speaking about the heritage of French cinema, Mr Olivier Gougeon, Regional Chief Executive Officer – Asia Pacific, Societe Generale Private Banking, says, “Since the birth of cinema in France in 1895, the country has always encouraged a passion for filmmaking. Via the Societe Generale Private Banking 1st Rendezvous With French Cinema, we hope to share that heritage by creating a first of its kind artistic, cultural and industry exchange.” Elaborating further on its role as Title Sponsor and the delicate balance between art and business, Mr Gougeon continues, “Our association as Title Sponsor of Societe Generale Private Banking 1st Rendezvous With French Cinema has allowed us to create a truly unique team spirit with the professionals from the cinema industry with whom we share the common values of innovation and professionalism.”

Societe Generale Private Banking 1st Rendezvous With French Cinema is organised by Institut Français, Unifrance and the Alliance Française de Singapour. Film screenings will be held at The Cathay Cineplex, Golden Village Vivocity, The Shaw Theatres Lido and the Alliance Française Theatre. It is sponsored by Societe Generale Private Banking as Title Sponsor, with Perrier-Jouet as Official Champagne, Swarovski as Official Fashion Sponsor, Air France as Official Airline, Renault as Official Car and Angénieux as Official Film Industry Support. It is an event of Encore, the European Season and Voilah!. The festival runs from 8 to 13 December 2011. More details about the festival can be found at www.rendezvouswithfrenchcinema.sg.

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