Universal Pictures International France has named several key hires as it expands the studio's presence in the territory. Stephane Huard, managing director Universal Pictures International France made the announcement Thursday.

Jean-Michel Lorenzi will be UPI France's sales director while Stephane Rethore has joined as marketing director and Myriam Peyre is moving over from UPI in London to work as technical director.

In a press release, Huard said, 'These appointments represent a major step in creating and expanding Universal's on-the-ground presence in France. I'm pleased to welcome Myriam, Jean-Michel, Stephane and all our other staff to the team at Universal Pictures International France. Their expertise and relationships will help build our presence here.'

The trio will report directly to Huard while spearheading release campaigns for UPI's upcoming titles as well as its local language productions.

Next up from UPI is Mamma Mia! which is opening the Deauville Festival of American Film next month. It goes into French cinemas on September 10.

Other upcoming releases include Death Race, Hellboy II: The Golden Army and Changeling. Both Hellboy and Changeling will screen in Deauville.

Huard, who reports to Duncan Clark, executive vice president of international distribution, oversees theatrical marketing and distribution strategies and activities for all Universal titles released theatrically in France as well as reviewing potential acquisitions and new business opportunities.

Clark said, 'We are extremely pleased to welcome Stephane and his new team to Universal Pictures International, where their excellent business relationships, as well as their professional experience, will enable them to make great contributions to our presence in France.'