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RELEASES France

A scent of Cannes: Of Gods and Men and Benda Bilili

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A scent of Cannes: Of Gods and Men and Benda Bilili

Acclaimed by critics, two French productions which were highly appreciated at Cannes this year hit French screens today with one characteristic in common, beyond their great qualities, their setting: Africa. Grand Prix winner at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, the brilliant Of Gods and Men [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Xavier Beauvois
film profile
]
by Xavier Beauvois, inspired by the tragedy of French monks of Tibihirine, Algeria in 1996, is being released through Mars Distribution on 254 prints. Meanwhile, the excellent documentary Benda Bilili [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by directing duo Renaud Barret and Florent de La Tuylaye, which opened Directors’ Fortnight (see article) to the rhythm of the music by a group of paraplegic Congolese musicians to a destiny worthy of a fairytale, is opening on 82 screens (with 100 planned for the second week) by Sophie Dulac Distribution.

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The press is also backing The Last Summer of La Boyita [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Argentinean director Julia Solomonoff, co-produced by its French distributor Epicentre Films (who is releasing it on 18 prints, see article) and by the Almodóvar brothers’ Spanish outfit (El Deseo), as well as Guo Xialou’s She, a Chinese, a UK/French/German co-production, a winner at Locarno in 2009 and released by Les Films du Paradoxe. Also worth a mention are releases of Diaries [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Italian helmer Attilio Azzola (distribution Albany Films) and Joel Schumacher’s Twelve [+see also:
trailer
making of
film profile
]
, co-produced with the United States by its distributor Gaumont.

At the box office, two European films are getting out while the going is good, namely Bertrand Blier’s The Clink of Ice [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(see interview video) which has garnered over 400,000 admissions in 12 days (Wild Bunch Distribution) and animated film Sammy’s Adventures: The Secret Passage [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Belgian helmer Ben Staessen. Staessen’s title has passed the mark of one million filmgoers in almost only four weeks on screen (distribution StudioCanal).

The French theatrical market is performing well, according to estimates by Centre National du Cinéma et de l’image animée (CNC), with 140.56m admissions for the first eight months of 2010. This is up 6.6% compared to the same period in 2009. The month of August has contributed to this impressive score with 17.51 filmgoers (up 16.3% on last August). With regard to market share, French films account for 33% in the first eight months of 2010, compared to 53.5% for US productions and 13.5% for films from the rest of the world.

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(Translated from French)

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