Stephane Huard has been appointed Managing Director of Universal Pictures International's new operating company in France.

David Kosse, president of Universal Pictures International, made the announcement today.

Huard joins UPI from Stage Entertainment France, where he was MD since January 2006. From 2001 to 2006, he was also MD of Lumiere Publicite, where he worked with Universal films through UIP France.

Huard, who will report to executive VP of international distribution Duncan Clark, will oversee theatrical marketing and distriubtion for all Universal theatrical releases in France. He will also review potential acquisitions for the region, oversee new business initiatives, and develop the company's future distribution plans.

'We are extremely pleased to welcome Stephane to Universal Pictures International, where his excellent business relationships, as well as his professional experience, will expand and develop our presence in the key French marketplace,' said Kosse. 'Stephane's understanding of the unique cultural and business environment of the French film industry will enable him to make great contributions to our presence there, and we look forward to working with him.'