Case Départ, Un Poison Violent and J’aime Regarder Les Filles pick up prizes at Internet festival feting French cinema.

The second edition of racked up 1.3 million film viewings against 40,000 in its inaugural edition last year, joint organisers Unifrance and cinema portal Allociné have announced.

The Internet festival — running January 12 to February 1 —showcased 10 first and second French features and 10 shorts online in 14 languages including Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese and Russian.

Slavery-themed comedy Case Départ – co-starring Jamel Debbouze protégés Thomas Ngijol and Fabrice Eboué– won the public prize, based on some 20,000 votes.

Katell Quilévéré coming-of-age tale Un Poison Violent was awarded the international press prize judged by journalists from 10 countries.

Frédéric Louf’s J’aime Regarder Les Filles, about a young man who events a wealthy background against the backdrop of François Mitterand’s presidential election in 1981, won the social networks prize, meted out by a jury of 100 influential Internet players.

Olivier Treiner’s The Piano Tuner (L’Accordeur) was awarded the best short prize in all three award categories. 

According to viewing data, visitors from 174 countries registered on the site for 1.3 million individual film viewings over the three-week festival.

“By viewing we mean that a someone logged on and started playing a film… it is more than a simple hit,” explained Jean-Remi Ducourtioux, a spokesperson for Unifrance’s New Media activities.

The festival received a huge boost from a new partnership with Chinese portal Youku, granting its users free access to the festival, which generated 1.1 million viewings from China alone.

The festival titles were also available for free on Allociné’s German subsidiary Filmstarts and Latin American Terra, which generated 100,000 viewings.

A paying version of the festival was also available internationally on Internet sites Dailymotion and Mubi, Filmin in Spain, J:COM in Japan, KT in South Korea, Orlando VOD in Israel and SnagFilm in the United States.

MyFrenchFilmFestival’s site also clocked up 84,000 screenings directly, up from 30,000 in 2011. The top three territories in terms of free screenings were: Mexico (16,000), Brazil (12,650) and Russian (12,400).

Some 24,000 screenings were paid for in this edition against 17,000 in 2011.  The top four paying territories were the United States (6,300), Spain (3,250), South Korea (3,100) and Japan (3,000).