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Unifrance, Allocine unveil second MyFrenchFilmFestival.com

Internet festival partners with SnagFilms, Mubi, Filmstarts.de, FilmIn and leading Chinese portal Youku among others.

Unifrance and Paris-based cinema portal Allocine have unveiled an expanded second edition of their joint MyFrenchFilmFestival.com, showcasing 10 first and second French features and another 10 shorts online in January.

“We’ve increased our partnerships, focusing on platforms specialising in independent cinema to benefit from their communities worldwide,” said Unifrance managing director Régine Hatchondo, who presented the event alongside Allocine CEO Grégoire Lassalle. 

New partners include SnagFilms in the U.S, German Filmstarts.de, Brazilian Terra.TV and Chinese Youku – a VOD site receiving some 26.4 million hits a day. Previous partners independent film portal Mubi, Spanish FilmIn, Korean K.T. and Japanese J:Com have also boarded again.

The festival will go live from January 12 to February 1, 2012, a week longer than the inaugural event last January.   Some 320,000 people from 171 countries registered on the festival site last January, for roughly 40,000 individual film viewings.

The Competition line-up comprises 10 first and second time French films, sold to less than five territories.  

They range from Frédéric Louf’s Toronto Discovery screener J’aime regarder les filles [pictured] — starring upcoming actor Pierre Niney as a provincial, young man who invents a wealthy background, to Case départ, a slavery-themed comedy, co-starring Jamel Debbouze protégés Thomas Ngijol and Fabrice Eboué, which has attracted 1.7 million spectators in France since it release in July.

La Reine des pommes (The Queen of Hearts), the second film from Valérie Donzelli, whose third picture La guerre est declarée (Declaration of War) is France’s Foreign Language Oscar submission this year, is also among the selection.

Claude Autant-Lara’s 1956 comic Jean Gabin-starrer The Trip Across Paris (La Traversée de Paris) will screen Out of Competition.

MyFrenchFilmFestival.com is a number of New Media projects currently being spearheaded by the Unifrance.

“Historically we’ve focused on theatrical releases and broadcast but now we’re developing a digital strategy and looking at how we can work with new forms of distribution,” said Hatchondo.

Other Internet initiatives due to be launched at the beginning of 2012 include the Short Film Gallery — a B2B platform accessible through the Unifrance site aimed at promoting French short films — as well as a trilingual iPhone app for professionals and public alike.

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