Coincidence or moral victory' The five French films in Official Selection at this year's Cannes festival are all set to be distributed locally by members of The Club Of Five (Le Club Des Cinq). This is a new lobby group formed by independent distributors which recently split from the two main distributors' federations.
Pyramide will release Catherine Corsini's La Repetition, ARP Selection will handle Francois Dupeyron's La Chambre Des Officiers, Diaphana is distributing Cedric Kahn's Roberto Succo, while Les Films Du Losange is putting out Jacques Rivette's Va Savoir and Rezo Films will release Calire Denis' Trouble Every Day, which appears at Cannes in a midnight screening's slot.
Pyramide boss Fabienne Vonnier said: "During a lunch with Gilles Jacob and minister of culture Catherine Tasca in Cannes last year, we realised that, as medium-sized companies, we had much in common but that our two main unions [the Federation of distributors (FNDF) chaired by Gaumont's Nicolas Seydoux and which include all the major companies and the Syndicate (SDI) which is mainly comprised of smaller distributors] did not cater to our specific needs and concerns.
All five are mid-sized distributors, which have made their mark by successfully taking French or international art-house titles to a wider public. Many are also involved as producers or investors. For the last two years Diaphana's Michel Saint-Jean has backed Cannes sensations: in 1999 he invested in The Dreamlife Of Angels, last year it was Harry A Friend Who Wishes You Well.