Monzier was instrumental in setting up the Europa Distribution network.

Adeline Monzier has been hired to head up the New York office of French cinema promotional body Unifrance.

She replaces former Unifrance US chief John Kochman who recently joined the acquisitions team at US distributor and producer the Cohen Media Group.

Monzier’s appointment is part of a wider shake-up of Unifrance’s US operations.

Rather than running a full-time bureau in New York, the organisation has decided to appoint an East Coast and a West Coast representative on a freelance basis.

“We will launch a Los Angeles operation later this year but have yet to appoint a representative,” Unifrance president Jean-Paul Salomé told ScreenDaily.

“We’ve decided lighten the New York structure and have representation on both coasts. The idea is that our representatives will be freelance and free to work on other complementary projects. This way they will be more in tune with the industry,” he added.

Monzier is best known in the industry for spearheading the creation of the Europa Distribution, a networking and lobbying group representing some 125 independent film distributors from 26 European countries.

New York-based Monzier told ScreenDaily that she would retain links with the body but would step down from her role as manager of Europa Distribution in September.

In the meantime, she will be in Annecy in June for a Europa Distribution conference on the distribution of animation films cross Europe. Monzier will also be at the Champs Elysées Film Festival in June where she is organising the US in Progress screenings showcasing a selection of independent American pictures in post-production. 

Her duties as Unifrance’s New York representative will include organising the Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in New York.

New appointments

Monzier’s arrival at Unifrance follows a wave of new appointments across the organisation.

Just prior to Cannes, cinema journalist Isabelle Giordano was announced as the body’s new managing director, replacing Régine Hatchondo who is leaving to head up the cultural affairs office at Paris City Hall. Giordano is best known as a presenter of cinema programmes on Canal Plus and Arte.

Internationally, Tokyo representative Valérie-Anne Christen is heading to Mumbai to open a new south-east Asia bureau. She will be replaced in Tokyo by her current deputy Noriko Tezuka, who will handle both Japan and Korea.

There will be no changes in China, however, where producer Isabelle Glachant will continue to head up the Beijing bureau.

Filmmaker Salomé, meanwhile, arrived at Unifrance in January, taking over from producer Antoine de Clermont-Tonnerre of Mact Productions who had held the post since 2009.

Aside from overseeing Unifrance, Salomé, is currently working on post-production of his latest film, a comedy-thriller Playing Dead starring Geraldine Nakache and Francois Damiens.

Salomé told ScreenDaily he had three key objectives for his two-year tenure.

They comprised working more with new French talent and getting their work shown abroad; promoting the French cinema financing model to the outside world, and in particular Brussels, and connecting with other Francophone filmmaking communities.

“These days I think there is a need to promote not just our cinema but our very film financing system which is unique in the world. It’s increasingly coming under attack but I think if we promoted it better there would be more understanding of why it is so important,” commented Salomé.