This summer is gearing up to take on a decidedly French feel in the UK.
Unifrance, France's film export body, reports that at least 10 French films will have their British debut in the coming weeks supported by a strong presence of French talent.
On June 13, Priceless , starring Audrey Tautou and directed by Pierre Salvadori, will be released by Icon followed one week later by Elle S'Appelle Sandrine , the feature directorial debut of Sandrine Bonnaire, which ICA will release and The Secret Of The Grain , Abdellatif Kechiche's sleeper hit which swept the Cesars earlier this year. Artificial Eye is releasing.
On June 27, Jean-Paul Salome's Female Agents starring Sophie Marceau and Deborah Francois will debut from Revolver which handled Guillaume Canet's Tell No One on the same date last year.
Virginie Ledoyen, Vincent Lindon, Pascal Elbe, Bernadette Lafont, Dominique Farrugia and Lorraine Levy will support London Mon Amour which releases on July 4 from Pathe UK while Cedric Klapisch will be in town for the release of his film Paris on July 25 which is being handled by Optimum.
In August, Olivier Assayas' Summer Hours debuts from Artificial Eye as does Francois Ozon's Angel starring Romola Garai and Lucy Russel. The latter is handled by Lionsgate.
Lionsgate is also releasing I've Loved You So Long from director Philippe Claudel and starring Kristin Scott Thomas on September 26. Other films including Luc Jacquet's The Fox And The Child are also due for a summer UK release.
French films have had healthy results in the UK over the past several years and currently boast a 2% market share with an estimated 3 million tickets sold in 2007. The figures are the best ever attained by French films in Britain where they have traditionally barely reached a 1% market share.
Last year, Luc Besson's Arthur And The Minimoys took in 1.2 million admissions while La Vie En Rose scored 325,000 and Tell No One took in 245,000. Other successes in 2007 included Julie Delpy's 2 Days In Paris , Michel Gondry's The Science Of Sleep , Patrice Leconte's My Best Friend , Laurent Tirard's Moliere , Xavier Giannoli's Quand J'Etais Chanteur and Pascale Ferran's Lady Chatterley .